Good at sports? You’ve probably got good eyes.
Speed is one of the most sought after attributes in athletic performance and general training, but also one that causes a lot of confusion on how to develop properly.
The route most people take when wanting to improve their speed normally revolves around doing some form of resistance training. Training the muscles for speed seems logical. But do our muscles really control our speed?
One thing that is continually glossed over time and time again is the role of the eyes in speed training. In fact, the role of the eyes in ALL training.
Your eyes are the gateway to your brain. Your muscles (as a matter of fact everything) are under your brains control whether you know it or not. Through vision training the aim is to “build” a better, stronger, more efficient brain.
Think about it this way. Is it really how fast you are? Or is it how fast you process? The quicker I can see and interpret, the quicker I can execute the necessary movement.
Is Messi the fastest player at the professional level in football? No.
He is and may well be the fastest processor of information though. This is illustrated by how quickly he can read his opposition and react accordingly.
Steph Curry, the only unanimous MVP in NBA history. He does vision training.
Vasyl Lomachenko, arguably pound for pound the best boxer on the planet. 396 Amateur fights. 1 Loss. He does vision training.
The German football national team that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They do vision training.
There is an increasing number of elite level athletes in all the top leagues across a spectrum of sports that are starting to use and integrate vision training as part of their routines.
When talking about visual attributes we are not generally looking for how clearly you can see, such as an optician would. We are looking for how well your eyes perform; how well do they track moving objects in motion, how fast they can change focus from a near object to a far one, how accurate is your peripheral vision and many other factors.
Did you know that there are 11 key visual attributes that can be trained in order to improve your speed and performance?
Start your vision training with two simple routines:
1. Train your eye muscles by stretching your arm out in front of you and stare at your thumb. Keeping your head still move the thumb in a large circle and track it with your eyes. Do 2 slow circles in each direction daily.
2. Look at an object near you then choose another object that’s far from you. Switch your gaze as fast as you can from the near object to the far one. Do 10 switches x 2 daily.
Heba is a Neural Performance Specialist, Z-Health Master Trainer, the Creator of the NeuroPilates method, Personal Trainer and Instructor. She is co-founder of body//HACK and can be reached on Facebook, Instagram and via bodyhack.co.
As we begin the transition from spring to summer, we’re shedding layers of clothing for summer attire, spending more time around the pool, and planning vacations.
With that being said, we’re also paying more attention to building our summer bodies and getting re-energised about looking and feeling our best.
Let these popular transformational programmes offered in Dubai and Abu Dhabi help you on your journey:
HADDINS RAMADAN PRIMAL TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME
WHEN: May 28–June 22
Over in the capital there’s the ever-popular Haddins Primal Programme that has, over the years, reaped some impressive and drastic results.
This programme will not only change your physical form, but also your desire to make training an everyday part of your life, with fun, result-based exercise.
You will also follow a Primal/Paleo nutrition plan with the full support and guidance of Haddins’ qualified coaches and nutritionists.
What’s also good is that it’s run both early in the morning and in the evenings at two convenient locations (Zayed Sports City and Emirates Palace) for you to choose from.
Starting from Dh1200 if paid before May 28. For more info, email [email protected].
RAMADAN DETOX CHALLENGE WITH SASHA QUINCE
WHEN: Sundays from May 28-June 18
This is another highly beneficial programme in Abu Dhabi that you could possibly even tack on to Haddins’ Primal Programme – it’s only run once a week.
Come and learn cleansing breathing, detox methods, restorative postures and active techniques to flush out toxins and restore vitality to your body and mind. Sasha’s four-week programme is guaranteed to help you improve your sleep, metabolism and digestion, as well as reduce stress and gain strength and flexibility.
Priced at Dh270, it comes highly recommended as a supplement to your regular fitness routine this Ramadan. Visit www.sashaquinceyoga.com
L’ATELIER AQUAFITNESS’S BODY TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME
WHEN: Available throughout May
We like this one because it involves time in the water and will keep you cool during the scorching months ahead. On top of that, L’Atelier is a brilliant ladies-only facility in Dubai offering some advanced and cutting-edge classes and alternative treatments. This concentrated five-week overhaul combines all of their services into one exciting package, designed to tone, shape, strengthen, relax and re-connect you with yourself. You will also benefit from a personal follow-up on your progress and an assessment with qualified coaches.
Sessions include aquabiking, plenty of time spent in the Iyashi Dome (a Japanese slimming and detoxifying technology inspired by local hot springs), a deep muscle relaxation session called Watsu (also known as Aquatic Shiatsu), as well as a food assessment plan and healthy drinks and snacks.
It will all set you back Dh4200, but this can be payable in two parts. Visit www.latelieraquafitness.com
TRANSFORM WITH DEFINE
WHEN: Available throughout May
This super hip Dubai studio promises to sculpt a new you in 10 classes or less.
What we love about these guys is the spunk and spirit you regularly get out of their carefully curated indoor biking, barre and swing yoga classes. They’ve got something to offer the moodiest of fitness junkies, a mixture of energy-spiking and chill-inducing classes.
Take advantage of improved strength, length and balance for summer by signing up for their incredibly affordable two-week unlimited Absolute Best package going for Dh500, or the one-month unlimited package priced at Dh950. Visit www.dubai.definebody.com
3-MONTH GUAVAPASS SPECIAL
WHEN: Offer ends May 31
What better way to stay in shape and motivated through the Holy Month and beyond than having your fill of all the cool classes Dubai and Abu Dhabi have to offer? Yep, GuavaPass has got you. This city-wide app is an exclusive pass to a weird and wonderful programme of diverse group fitness classes offered at various gyms for a small monthly fee. One day you’ll find yourself in a yoga or Pilates class, the next day doing Aqua Zumba or strapping into some Kangoo boots for non-stop laughs in a rebound exercise class. That’s our favourite thing about this membership – the flexibility to explore fitness whenever and however you want with the click of a button.
They’ve got a special deal on right now allowing you access to a 3-month membership for just Dh325 a month (as opposed to Dh499), or Dh425 for your first month. Visit www.guavapass.com
People often draw up inflated hyperboles to express their intense dislike for the early morning hours; unfortunately I am part of this very lot that is guilty of making such overstatements.
I remember attributing Tai Chi in helping me transform in to a morning person, but I say, not
being a thorny tempered, bleary-eyed zombie is one thing and charging into fitness activities early in the morning is another.
In all honesty, I always thought that nothing in this world could change my sentiments about early morning workouts.
So when I got to know about Roxy Fitness event, in my excitement and eagerness to accept the invitation it completely slipped my notice that it was scheduled to start at 06:45.
As much as I was groggy and bitter for hauling myself out of the snug cocoon of my blankets, never have I ever been happier for passing up on extra sleep.
We started off with a beachside yoga with Kathleen Swalling, who guided us through the sun salutations to warm us up for the paddle boarding session with Krissy later on. After an extremely relaxing yoga session by the beach, the entire group was just bursting with energy.
The ladies were divided into two groups; one that had seasoned paddle boarders and the others who were trying it out for the first time.
I on the other hand got to be the lone member of a very special group that had neither paddle boarded nor knew how to swim.
So while the advanced group did burpees on a paddle board and the other group focused on perfecting their balance and steering, I was all by myself with Kathleen learning how to survive in the ocean and paddle boarding from scratch.
However, under the vigilante eye and firm instructions of Kathleen, a fantastic yoga instructor and a tri-athlete, I tried getting the basics of paddle boarding down without knowing how to swim.
She was a constant source of comfort and confidence throughout the whole experience, and eventually I was able to stand on the paddle board and steer my way around.
She even coaxed me in to getting off the paddle board and diving right in to the water, to help ease my fear. As a precaution, I was instructed to stay as close to the shallow side of the beach as possible, but even then I was required to at least try to stand on the board and steer it around.
Kathleen pointed out that the sport requires the same techniques used in yoga that help maintain our balance and the key to becoming good at it was just to remain calm and breathe.
“You just need to breathe and stay calm, so the breathing exercises that you were doing in Yoga applies perfectly here in paddle boarding,” said Kathleen, as she guided me in to the water.
“Tuck your navel closer to the small of your back and keep the knees slightly bent at all times to help stay stable on the board,” she advised.
She also mentioned that it is important to always keep your eyes looking in front rather than down at the water.
Paddle boarding is a great upper body workout and is a real test of strength.