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Hitting the gym to become the complete ULTIMATE player

Written by Hafiz Maideen, Northern Wildlings #10


The misconceptions ultimate players have when asked to hit the gym will be bodybuilding and making your body look good. But that’s wrong. We want to strengthen and condition muscles and muscle movement that will actually aid us to become a better, stronger player.


Being an Ultimate player myself, I’ve watched not only ultimate players jumping over people or twice their height but also basketball players. It may seem easy but the amount of training they must have put in must have been gruesome. Reaping easy rewards like that is never going to be easy.


For the past five years of playing ultimate, I have seen players not realizing the importance of going to gym and getting injured when it could have been prevented. Strength and conditioning has a very important role in this sport.


So in my poly years, I used myself as an example to try out different exercises in the gym to improve my overall performance in the game.  I came up with three main exercises that would improve your performance generally, not specifically. I will be specific later in the article.


1. Bench Press


This exercise concentrates on our upper body muscles: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps


It makes the three muscles groups stronger, which enables you to sprint harder and make stronger, stable throws.



2. Deadlifts


This exercise concentrates on our back muscles, trunks and lower body.


It makes our hips stronger for stronger pivots, back muscles for stable throws and lower body for explosive movements.




3. Squats


This exercise concentrates on our lower body and core muscles.


Strengthens the lower body muscles for impacts like running and jumping. Core muscles for explosive movements.



These main exercises will no doubt make a player stronger and little better in his game. But we want to figure what specific exercise can help to strengthen and condition the movements we do frequently during the game.


1. Cable pulls


I modified this exercise to simulate the throwing movements ultimate players make at every training session.


4 types of throwing movements and the primary muscles utilized: 


·      Inside Out Backhand – Deltoids, Trapezius, Hip Flexors & Triceps

·      Outside In Backhand – Deltoids, Trapezius, Hip Flexors & Triceps

·      Inside Out Forehand – Deltoids, Pectorial Major & Biceps

·      Outside In Forehand – Deltoids, Pectorial Major & Biceps


This exercise has primarily increased my throwing strength and reduced my injuries due to the repetitive motions.


Starting off with a light weight or no weight to warm up and gradually increasing the weight for each set to hit my max. The rest time in between sets would be 30 – 45 seconds depending on yourself. For starters I recommend only doing 3 sets each, as you go on, I would strongly recommend a max of 4 sets for each exercise.



2. Side Lunges (Forehand and Backhand Pivots)


This exercise strengthens our pivoting movements and enables us to pivot easily.


Concentrating on our lower body muscles, adductors, abductors and hip rotator muscles. By doing this exercise, it helped me to reduce my injuries while pivoting to make low throws.


For beginners I would advice doing 3 sets without any weight and as they progress, they can hold 5kg, 10kg or 15kg plates close to their chest and carry out the exercise.


This would greatly increase their mobility while pivoting and prevent injuries cause of constant pivoting.



As mentioned above are the few basic exercises an ultimate player would have to focus on at a gym to improve overall strength in their performance. Not only by increasing weights, but to condition their body to the movements they constantly make while playing ultimate.


Everyone has a different body composition, so the different exercise has to be adjusted to fit your bodily needs. And remember that safety is the utmost importance while doing all the exercises. Try to get a buddy to join you if you are not confident at first.


And this is how you can strive be a complete ultimate player by hitting the gym!






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