Though billed as a "friendly," there was little love lost between the red and blue halves of Manchester at Wembley Stadium yesterday. English football clubs Manchester City and Manchester United squared off for the traditional season curtain-raiser, with United pulling out the win in injury time. This highly-scrutinized match-up proved several things, the largest of which was this: City is a force to be reckoned with this season.
During their recent US tour, Man City FC stopped off at TRX HQ in San Francisco to learn how TRX Training could help the team repeat their standout 2011 performance, where they snagged the coveted FA Cup. 1st Team Physiotherapists Lee Nobes and Robin Sadler met with several members of the TRX Programming and Sports Med departments, including Head of Human Performance Chris Frankel and Director of Sports Med Brian Bettendorf, to see firsthand how the TRX can safely improve soccer-specific skills, without getting exposed to on-pitch risks (see video above).
Man City was first introduced to the TRX Suspension Trainer in January 2011 and lost no time integrating it into their existing sports med program.
"The players are [using the TRX] in their rehabilitation and finding it so effective, they continue using it," says Robin. "They're able to get a lot out of it in a really short amount of time.”
At Carrington Training Centre, Man City players spend about three to five hours per week training off the pitch performing a variety of different drills including speed work and plyometric training, as well as classic old school circuit training, plus abs/core workouts and upper body conditioning on the TRX.
Many of the players and trainers are using the TRX “a good three times a day," says Lee. "The players have really taken to it. It's a big part of our pre-activation program as well as our strength and conditioning."
An effective strength and conditioning program helps the players maintain peak performance but also helps prevent injury during a game by keeping the joints strong and flexible. Flexibility training on the TRX is a vital component of Man City’s training, with stretches both before and after workouts.
In terms of measurable objectives, players have seen an increase in soccer-specific skills such as jump heights and power outputs after integrating the TRX. “It helps with taking load off and teaching sport specific movements a lot better,” says Lee. “As the players develop their technique, we're able to load them up and you're able to see increases in performance, without having lifted heavy weights.”
While here, the trainers were also able to get their hands on the Rip Trainer and could immediately see its potential for helping players develop dynamic explosive power and rotational movement. “The Rip Trainer has loads of application for players on the pitch,” says Robin. “It gives you a massive variety of moves you can incorporate for your whole kinetic chain.”
“TRX Training works," says Robin. "It follows a very effective philosophy, a philosophy that is very similar to ours. We've been able to assimilate it [into the players’ programs] almost immediately."
Coming off last season’s FA Cup win and with a new roster imbued with supreme talent, some say City is just a few steps away from clinching a Premier League crown. This early in the season, it's difficult to say who will win the title: City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool... stay tuned for updates on the blog. Who do you think will win the FA Cup this year?? Share your comments below.
To find out how other soccer teams and athletes are integrating the TRX into their workouts, click here.