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Train smart and up your game

To keep going up, ancillary training is a must so that one does not then plateau out

Mayukh Banerjee Published 02.09.20, 11:27 PM
Ancillary training is not just for seasoned sportsmen -- it is for everyone

Ancillary training is not just for seasoned sportsmen -- it is for everyone Shutterstock

Upping your game means training smart! Spending hours practising a sport gets you up to a level, but then you plateau out. To keep going up, ancillary training is a must.

Ancillary training requires an understanding of the body kinematics required for a particular sport. Based on this, a fitness professional assesses a client’s requirements. An exercise programme is then designed that will enhance his performance in that sport.


Ancillary training is not just for seasoned sportsmen -- it is for everyone. A beginner in a sport would do well to spend time on one such programme. It will help avoid injuries and improve his game dramatically.

Let’s look at how some generic ancillary training can help enhance performance in two commonly played sports.


Golf requires mobility in hips, thoracic spine and shoulders. Poor swing mechanics places incorrect rotational stresses on the spine. This may cause shoulder, knee and back pain overtime. Wrist and elbow injuries are also not uncommon.

For golfers, strength and stability of deep core muscles is critically important. The core muscles are needed for stable postures well as developing a strong and accurate swing.

For better mobility serious golfers can attend at least one basic yoga class per week. Additionally, they can work on their shoulder, hip and thoracic spine mobility through exercises such as:

1 Rotator cuff stretches (performed in all planes);

2 Tri-planar hip flexor stretch;

3 Cat-camel;

4 Glute bridges;

5 Supine spinal extensions and spinal twist.

Finally, for core strength development, body weight exercises such as plank and side plank are very effective. Resistance training using light weights and specific motions such as wood-chops are also exercises that we recommend.

Road running (Marathon)

Marathon running has become very popular. For many, the challenge is not just completing a 21-km half-marathon, but doing so within a specific duration of time.

Some ancillary training that will strongly compliment your distance running:

Strength Training

1 Squats: essential for developing glutes, a primary muscle involved in running. Also helps strengthen a number of other muscles such as quadriceps anderector spinae;

2 Lunges: an ideal single leg strength training exercise for runners that help in powering up their lower extremities;

3 Hamstring curls: for the complete workout of the hamstrings (posterior thigh muscles);

4 Leg extensions: works the quadriceps (anterior thigh muscles). Quadriceps provide the push needed to accelerate while running. They also provide the strength needed for uphill or downhill runs.

5 Standing calf raises: as the name suggests, strength training for the calf muscles.

To start off, these exercises should be performed 10 repetitions x 3 sets. Excluding hamstring curls and leg extensions, all the other exercises can be performed using only bodyweight.

Alternate pace running

This form of running stresses both the aerobic and anaerobic system.

Involving varying of pace throughout the run, alternating between fast segments and slow jogs, it mimics the change in pace that occurs in football and rugby.

Work-rest intervals can be based on how the body feels. It greatly helps in increasing the runners speed and reducing his recovery time thus helping him run greater distances in lesser time.

Always consult a professional before starting on a workout.

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