Ultimate Fitness, the DVD
Bryan Doo, now a strength & conditioning coach for the Boston Celtics, and Dan Cogan-Drew are long-time Ultimate players on Boston’s Death of Glory club team, and it’s great to see them bring their Ultimate training expertise to the table in producing this well-made DVD.
After an Introduction but before the Cooldown lap, Bryan and Dan take us through Warm-ups (both for a start-of-day and for in between games), Speed / Agility / Quickness, and Functional Strength Development. You may have seen a number of these drills in Baccarini and Booth’s Essential Ultimate, such as the scramble-up (shown below), but it’s always useful to see live athletes performing the drills. In particular, Bryan Doo is an exemplar of movement quality and as he goes through the drills makes sure to point out common pitfalls and does some impromptu coaching and cuing for the demo athletes he works with on the DVD.
In this review I’m going to focus on the Warm-up and Speed / Agility / Quickness drills, since strength work has been covered extensively elsewhere here. I also didn’t want to get distracted quibbling with the advice to draw-in versus brace for core work or pondering the 2,000 or so Newtons of force a Superman is measured to exert on the spine [see Stu McGill's survey works], and the interconnected too-much-flexion debate.
Bryan’s Warm-up #1 (start of day) consists of:
- High Knee Hugs, Straight Leg Deadlifts, Step / Lunge / Twist
- High Knees, Butt Kicks, Carioca, and Backpedaling.
Your team probably does some variation of this, but as they say the devil is in the details, and you can always get better at warming up more safely and effectively. For example, when you do high knees, do you just hike your knees or do you also make sure you get some arm drive action in there too?
When you do a Step / Lunge / Twist, do you also make sure (1) the lunging foot stays pointed forward (rather than internally or externally rotated) with heel on the ground (2) lunging knee forming a 90 degree angle with (3) core musculature is engaged with an appropriate level of tension and a tall/long spine and (4) twisting only to the lunging leg side?
Another example. When you do cariocas as a warm-up, do you go for distance or take smaller steps, trying to open up your hips and lower-back as a warm-up as Bryan suggests?
These may seem like simple corrections, but as Pavel says when it comes to fundamentals, “it is the mastery of the basics that separates the elite from the rest.” While we’re at it, for extra credit I’m going to mention the concept of bone rhythm that I learned from Dr. Cobb as part of the Z-health system.
You are what you consistently do, so why not do that well? =)
I’m not going to cover Warm-up #2, but just mention that some kind of Spiderman is a good thing to get better at.
And rather than ramble on about the dozen or so Speed / Agility / Quickness drills that Bryan has picked out I’m just going to suggest you check out the 1-2 Stick preview video on Cogan-Drew’s web page for another sample of the high-quality instruction and footage offered on this DVD.
Now, go and check out those hips!