If you go to the gym or live near a green surface, you might have noticed people running short distances around cones, changing directions, jumping over various hurdles or doing explosive movements with the help of agility ladders. Heck, these exercises were even incorporated into best-selling DVD workout programs! While these tools and exercises might seem intimidating, unnecessary or even ridiculous, most people can’t help but wonder: “Would it be good if I incorporated this training into my routine?” The answer to that would be no. It wouldn’t be good. It would be fantastic!
Now that a once athlete-exclusive training is slowly but steadily becoming mainstream, it’s time to unpack what SAQ really is and why you should do it.
What it is
SAQ stands for speed, agility and quickness. Needless to say, it’s an intense workout routinely done by football, soccer and basketball players in order to increase explosiveness and footwork. While there is special fitness equipment for SAQ that includes disc cones, agility ladders and resistance parachutes, the reality is you can complete an amazing SAQ workout without any equipment whatsoever or check out PROSAQ program.
What are the benefits?
Well, first of all, SAQ is a lot of fun. Most people that aren’t in excellent shape to begin with are afraid of looking silly doing something as ‘advanced’ as SAQ, but once you dare to try it, you’ll find it hard to forgive yourself for not trying it sooner. Man, all those small steps, quick changes, sprints – they’re genuinely fun to do! You’ll be surprised at what your body’s capable of and you’ll love the fact that every workout will do wonders for your agility and stability as well.
With SAQ, you’ll not only feel great but look great as well! You know how sometimes you see those amazing looking people with even the smallest muscles defined and shaped to perfection? Well, chances are they’re doing some form of SAQ training. All those bursts of energy, vigorous and controlled small moves engage more muscles than your typical running motion because of the changes in direction and pace. After some time, those muscles will start to show and make a huge difference both in your physical abilities and your looks.
Speaking of activating more muscles, one of the perks that’ll happen after you start your SAQ protocol is you’ll start burning more calories through exercise. That’s because your body will need more oxygen, in order to provide the muscles with it while they’re being used, eventually leading to higher number of calories being burned when compared to linear, steady-paced cardio.
Few people are accustomed to making quick and sudden moves in their everyday life and they generally lack agility, so they end up injured in situations that require a fast and agile reaction in a split second. Not with SAQ. This is exactly the type of workout that will leave you amazed at how you’re body has developed to react precise and fast, without risking any sort of injury. In that sense, you could even refer to SAQ as functional.
Maintain your form
In order to do SAQ properly and decrease the risk of injury, keep in mind that you should never ever sacrifice form. That means that you should make contact with the ground with the widest part of your foot and roll onto your heels before jumping again. Also, be sure to keep your spine straight and your body weight centred, so as not to let it ‘pull you’ to the front or back. Keep your arms and legs synchronized engaged at all times, your elbows at 90 degrees and narrow, so that you can all but brush your hip with your arm while you take it almost to your cheek.
The most important part comes before the workout
Three words: warmup, warmup, warmup. Never skip it. Never cut it short. Never slack during warmup. Never say “Oh well, I’ll just do the workout directly, just this one time.” That’s how injuries occur. Be sure to include a warmup that will closely mimic the moves you’re going to do later – make it fun and functional!
Fuel yourself before and after
Give your body a small amount of carbs before this workout. That way it’ll have all the energy needed for this intense routine. Don’t torture yourself with exercising while in a fasted state, it has recently been proven that it won’t make you burn more calories than usual. After you’ve finished this fat-blasting workout, treat yourself with some proteins and a bit of carbs – your muscles will thank you later.
Liking the sound of SAQ training? WE LOVE IT! Find a MetaPRO coach near you and give PROSAQ a go - you won't regret it!!