Player Blawg: Strength & Conditioning
When it came to preparing for the season, the Huskies made sure to do their work in the weight room. GoHuskies.com gave an insider's perspective into the strength and conditioning program run at UW, but we wanted a player to convey just how brutal those workouts really were. So here is Sarah Morton breaking it down for us:
What up (Dawg fans)!
Now that summer is long gone and preseason games are getting under way, we are excited about seeing how far we will go! I know we will have lots of successes this year and a big reason for that is because of all the hard work we put in this summer and throughout preseason.
That includes weight training (BIGGER and better), conditioning, shooting on our own, and playing open gym. A day in the weight room might go something like this: warm up with plyometrics, do core exercises: sit-ups on physioballs, toe touches with bench bars, crunches with 25 lb. plates, etc.
Then we get into the lifting starting with hang cleans or high pulls eventually leading into deep squats (those will get the quads burning!). After squats we normally move into upper body lifting including bench press, shoulder press, bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, etc
After a weight training session we always have the option of doing extra, which our team has collectively bought into that style of hard work and doing the extra reps. We are also told to grab protein shakes every lifts because they help put nutrients back into our bodies that we have just burned off during our workout.
As for the conditioning, it varies from court sprints, long distance runs, agilities, hikes, and not to mention open gym. There is no shape like basketball shape and the main way to stay fit for basketball is just to play, and our team really took advantage of our time together this summer building chemistry and conditioning our bodies for the upcoming games.
One of the most lung-beating and leg-busting workouts I have ever done was at a place called St. Edwards Park over in Bothell by Lake Washington. Coach [Matt] Ludwig took a handful of us there this summer to go on a hike. It was a Friday and we were thinking "man, a hike sounds really fun, what a great way to head into the weekend" but we had no idea what was in store for us. The trail we ran lead us through the forest for about 25 minutes ALL DOWN HILL.
Now, running downhill isn't so bad right? Lots of speed and momentum carrying you down the hill and when we got to the bottom we were all sweating pretty good but in high spirits because we finished. Or so we thought... Coach Ludwig (or Lud as we call him) had something else in mind. Sure enough he had us turn back around the run back up the hills. You should have seen the looks on our faces when calculating the time it took to run this DOWNHILL; you can only imagine what the climb back must have felt like.
We all finished, but there were many times where we were literally clawing and crawling our way up through these hills because our feet and legs couldn't hold us anymore. Finishing that trail was brutal but awesome because we knew that when it came to the 4th quarter of a game and we needed to push through and battle, that we would be capable and could win the game.
I am positive that that all the lifts, runs, hikes, and games we played as a team this summer and preseason will lead us to a stellar year with radical victories. I hope y'all can come enjoy the W's with us!
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