Top No Weight Exercises You Can Do Almost Everywhere

Adding weights to your workout is a great way to build muscle.  There’s a reason why many athletes look built. Weights are tools to help you get a more defined body. Weights are good; however, in case you don’t have any access to a gym, no weight exercises are just as practical. Conducting exercises without weight allows you to use your body weight to enhance your fitness ability. In fact, no weight exercises are efficient warm-ups and depending on how you carry the exercise out can increase your heart rate.

You don’t need large equipment or extra accessories to do these workouts. A performance center, your home, or the park become the perfect areas to complete your workout. Our athlete specialists put together this list that includes no weight exercises from our competitive curriculum.  So, if you are an athlete looking for ways to better yourself, increase your strength, and form a balance, take a look at the exercises below.

1. Box Drill

For the most efficient way to elevate your agility, box drills are at the top of our list. There are many different variations of them, but you only need to know one to get it down. There’s a reason why the NFL combine uses these workout drills. They genuinely do help you work on better body control, quickness, and flexibility.

All you need are 4 marker cones or items of your choice. Place the cones in a square about 15 feet apart. Assume your starting position at cone 1, sprint to cone 2, shuffle to cone 3, backpedal to cone 4, and finally sprint back to cone 1.

The exercise is simple but assists in developing your change of direction ability. Complete 2 to 3 sets of this and you will be well on your way to becoming a better athlete.

2. Plyometric Pushup

This variation of a push-up requires some experience, but if you are looking to challenge yourself, then this exercise is one way to do so. The key benefits of this exercise are muscular development, strength, and power.

In a plyometric push-up, you’re doing your standard push up, but as you come up, you push-up and away from the floor. The trick is to lift your hands off the floor. To make it a little easier, you can even begin by starting with your hands on a bench or box and your feet on the ground, elevating your upper body. This will take some of your body weight out of the exercise making it a little less challenging.

no weight exercises

3. The Tuck Jump

The tuck jump is an exercise of high-intensity and impact. It works on improving agility and power, which is an area in which many athletes need to excel. If you are looking to improve your on-field performance, then the tuck jump is one exercise that you’ll want to learn.

You’ll want to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart bending your knees slightly and positioning your hips back, kind of like the beginning of a squat. Now jump up as high as you can bringing your knees to your chest. Land gently on your toes then jumps back up as quick as possible. Try starting with 3 sets of 5 tuck jumps!

4. Elbow to Hands Plank

The core is the foundational aspect to any athlete. No matter what sport you play, having a strong core is necessary to succeed. Many exercises exist to build core strength, but not many are as effective as the plank. This exercise works your core, hamstrings, glutes, supports posture, and improves balance. Many variations of the plank exist, but a favorite of ours is the elbow to hands.

Start in a regular plank, on your elbows. Take one hand, then followed by the other to push yourself up to a full plank position. Return to your elbows, doing so with one arm at a time. Try to challenge yourself by doing this for a full minute.

5. Chair Dips

The Chair Dip an excellent example that falls under the category of no weight exercises. They’re simple, can be done anywhere and a great way to tone your triceps. If you play any sport, then we are more than certain that you have tried these before. In case you haven’t:

Get yourself in 90-degree angle supporting yourself on a chair with only that weight of your arms. Alternate legs back in forth in the air as you work through a set of 15 reps.

Five Amazing No Weight Exercises

There you have it— five no weight exercises you can do anywhere, from your local athletic center to the flat ground of your basement. When you want to push yourself to the next level, then you’re going to need to enroll yourself in our Athletic Development Program or adult fitness. We’ll help you reach your fitness goals so you can become the best athlete ever to hit the field or court.

Increase Bounce For Basketball Players

With the NBA and high school basketball in full swing, let’s talk about how to increase your vertical jump for basketball. When looking at the vertical jump for basketball there are a bunch of different kinds of jumps (2 foot take off, 1 foot take off, 2nd jump capability), so it is important we train for all of them. There is no doubt that being able to jump higher than your opponent will give you a distinct advantage. For example, if you have a high vertical you can elevate over your opponent for a layup or jumpshot; as well as high point a rebound over them. In this blog we will go over what are the 5 best exercises to help increase the vertical jump for Basketball Players.

Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Lebron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans)….. What first comes to mind when you hear those names? Hopefully you thought of EXPLOSIVENESS! All 3 mentioned are highly dynamic athletes that can jump out of the gym. You are probably wondering how do these players jump so high? Were they born that way? Good genetics? Do they have a certain training program that built their vertical up? Is it their jump mechanics??

Well I would say it is a combination of all the three I mentioned above (Genetics, Jump Mechanics, and Training). Think of it like a triple double, your rebounds don’t out way your assists or points. You need all 3 stats to get that triple double. Same with maximizing your vertical jump!! Let’s be honest here, your genetics will play a big part in your athleticism. For example, some are born with more type IIa muscle fibers, which will then in turn make them more explosive.

Before we go any further, let’s talk about dunking. Having a high vertical jump and dunking are 2 different things. One can be 5‘5 with a 40 inch vertical and not be able to dunk a basketball, but a guy who is 6’5 with long arms and a 30inch vertical can. Again this goes back to genetics! When it comes to jumping higher though, looking at your vertical jump should be your main concern.

warm up exercises Activ8

Jumping Mechanics, are another important element in the vertical jump that is often overlooked by athletes. When we say jumping mechanics we mean: does the athlete have a proper hip/knee bend? Arm swing? What angle is their torso at? Velocity of their jump? …. There are a bunch of different factors in jumping mechanics that can make or break the height of your jump. Once you have mastered the mechanics of a jump, that will only be able to take you so high. Thus, you will hit a plateau on the height of your jump. Here is where performance training comes in!

Performance training will tie everything together! Being on a proper training regimen, this will allow you to maximize your genetic athletic potential. With proper training, you will be working on your jump mechanics and strengthen the areas related to vertical jump power. Here, we will go over the 5 Best Exercises To Increase Your Vertical:

  1. Depth Drop to Box Jump: This exercise is great because it will help work on jump mechanics and the ability to absorb and produce force. When doing the depth drop, it will focus on absorbing the landing and the back swing of your jump. As soon as you hit the ground, swing those arms forward and push explosively through your legs so you land on the box. The less ground contact time the better! Think if you can explode up quicker than your opponent to get a rebound or jump ball, the better outcome for your team. This exercise will also help improve your second jump capability. An example of using a second jump in basketball would be missing a shot inside the key and jumping back up right away to grab the rebound so you can shoot again. The speed of absorption and exploding up is crucial.Click here to learn how to perform the Depth Drop to Box Jump
  2. Single Leg Depth Drop to Single Leg Box Hop: This exercise has all the same benefits as the one listed above, except it will be focusing on single leg instead of two. Unilateral training is very important to basketball players because they are jumping off one foot a lot of the time when attacking the rim while doing a traditional layup. Generally, basketball players will develop asymmetries within their legs because they are performing a dominant hand layup more often, thus leading to jumping off a certain leg more. Single leg training will help you develop power and a balance of strength within each leg!Click here to learn how to perform the Single Leg Depth Drop to Single Leg Box Hop
  3. Hex Bar Deadlift: The Hex Bar Deadlift is a great foundational lift to target strength! Strength is key to increase vertical jump because the stronger you are, the more force you can produce. Then when you go ahead and perform a jump, you are producing the same force as you were if you were lifting 300lbs on the deadlift. There is a reason why Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters always have a surprisingly high vertical for their size and weight. It doesn’t really come that shocking to fitness coaches though because olympic weightlifters and powerlifters are always training at high intensities building strength. That strength will then translate over in a vertical jump because the production of force is so great. Moral of the story, get strong!Click here to learn how to perform the Hex Bar Deadlift
  4. 3 Hurdle Jump Continuous: This plyometric exercise is perfect for hoopers. The 3 Hurdle Jump Continuous will target increasing your stretch shortening cycle, the ability to stretch your muscles and contract them rapidly. This drill will not only target vertical jump height, but 2nd jump capability. Remember, 2nd jump capability is when you jump then land, then jump again. This is key among basketball players because in games there will be many scenarios when they need to rejump. For example, a player drives in for a layup and misses. In order for him to recover his rebound versus his opponent he would need to land after his missed shot and jump back up again quickly to grab the rebound. Once he grabs the rebound, he then needs to land and jump back up to shoot again. The increase in the stretch shortening cycle will help with the speed of continuous jumps.Click here to learn how to perform the 3 Hurdle Jump Continuous
  5. Vertimax Squat Jump: This resisted plyometric exercise is perfect for being explosive and quick, while being able to challenge yourself on the tension. Sometimes bodyweight plyometrics can only get you so far before you plateau, that is why resistance is key to target changes in your body. This is a reflection of the Progressive Overload Principle (In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced.) The resistance for the Vertimax Squat Jump will be the banded tension (harder on the way up, pulls you faster on the down). This power exercise is perfect for increasing vertical jump because it mimics the exact mechanics of a jump.Click here for the step-by-step on how to perform the Vertimax Squat Jump

One key thing to remember when doing these 5 exercises is to keep the sets in the 3-5 range, reps around the 5-8 range, and get proper rest time between sets 2-5mins. The reason for the certain ranges is because we are looking to target strength and power. We need to be well rested and keep the reps low so we can perform each repetition explosively. The ranges would be different though if we were looking to train for endurance or hypertrophy. Program these 5 exercises into your training regimen and you should start to see increases in your vertical jump!

Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area?

Check out our online training platform below and reach out to us at We’re glad to spend time with you and talk about how we can create a program encompassing everything you need to train like a Pro!

Become The Next Gretzky: Improve Power on Your Shot

An average NHL slap shot is around 80-90mph. The hardest slap shot clocked in at 108.8 mph by Zdeno Chára of the Boston Bruins in the 2012 NHL Skills Competition. To put that into perspective, MVP Alexander Ovechkin, clocked in at 101.3mph at the 2018 NHL Skills Competition. In hockey, having a powerful shot is an advantage. Goalies will have less time to adjust to the direction of the puck. However, accuracy, is also a crucial element in deciding the success of a shot.

Ready to add some mph to your slap shot?

First, let’s go over a slap shot and the biomechanics behind it. The slap shot is a shot where a player will perform a wind up motion, followed by a follow through motion.

Let’s break down the swing in 5 simple phases:

  1. Backswing (raising your stick up)
  2. Downswing (driving your stick down to the puck)
  3. Loading (where the stick makes contact with the puck)
  4. Release (where the puck leaves the stick)
  5. Follow through (stick swinging up)

This shot relies on being able to generate a lot of force in a small amount of time. Think POWER, (Power= work/time).
Biomechanically, the slap shot is a total body movement. It will involve your arms, shoulders, back, core, hips, knees, and ankles. The joints and muscles need to move in sync with one another to perform the perfect shot.

Now that we know what a slap shot is, how can we increase the speed of your swing?

You can do so by working on your technique and training for power! The technique of our swing is important because it needs to be smooth to optimize efficiency and power output. A hitch in your swing will cause mechanical leaks, resulting in a plateau of the speed of your shot.

Now let’s say your shot has perfect technique. The only thing left to do is train to become stronger and more explosive. Well, you may ask, how should I train? Should you train like a powerlifter, being able to lift over 500lbs? Or how about a bodybuilder? Probably not…

Although, being strong is a key component, those training methods are missing the speed component and the functionality of being able to shoot a slap shot. We have drawn up the 5 best exercises for hockey players to utilize for increasing power on their shot:

  1. Medicine Ball Skater Hop Side Toss: This exercise is what we call a “bang for your buck”. Just like how a slap shot involves a lot of muscle groups, so does this exercise. It targets unilateral lower body power in the frontal plane, while targeting the core and upper body power in the transverse plane. When doing this exercise, use the momentum of the skater hop and transfer that into the medicine ball side toss. The power will come from our base! Think about driving all that force into the wall on every repetition.
    To see how to do a Medicine Ball Skater Hop Side Toss, CLICK HERE 
  2. Rolling Hip Tap: The slap shot involves rotation of the trunk. One of the key muscle groups involved in the rotation of the trunk are the obliques. The rolling hip tap is great because it involves overall core stability and mainly targets the obliques. This functional core exercise is great for any athlete, especially hockey players.
    To see how to do a Rolling Hip Tap: CLICK HERE 
  3. TRX Rip Stick Rotation: This exercise will be beneficial because it will target the upper body and core stability with the rip stick press. The split stance finish will target lower body stability, building a stronger base. The rotational element will translate well with the hockey slap shot.
    To see how to do a TRX Rip Stick Rotation: CLICK HERE
  4. Lateral Box Blast: Lateral box blast is important for a hockey slap shot because it works on lateral power (think ability to transfer a load laterally over a short amount of time). On the backswing and downswing, the power is generated from our arms and hips. Just like a hockey slap shot, the lateral box blast involves a fast arm swing followed by an explosive push with the lower body. The glutes will be our primary muscle group activated.
    To see how to do a Lateral Box Blast: CLICK HERE 
  5. Hex Bar Banded Deadlift: The banded Hex Bar deadlift will build strength. At the end of the day we still need to be strong to shoot a hard slap shot, but we want to be functionally strong. This exercise will be beneficial to a bunch of elements related to hockey like grip strength, core strength, lower body strength, upper body stability. the list goes on and on. The resistance band will be beneficial to add to the exercise because it will promote a speed element to the lift and more of a load. Remember speed is crucial when it comes to power.
    To see how to do a Hex Bar Banded Deadlift: CLICK HERE

Give these 5 exercises a go and one should start to see beneficial changes to the speed of their shot. Now remember, these 5 exercises aren’t the end all be all. One can not do the same exercises every single day, overtraining is a real thing. However, incorporate these exercises periodically into one’s training regimen and it will lay a great foundation for hockey players.

Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area?

Check out our online training platform below and reach out to us at We’re glad to spend time with you and talk about how we can create a program encompassing everything you need to train like a Pro!

Could Rookie Jose Urquidy Become the 4th Starter in the Astros Playoff Run?

Activ8’s own, Jose Urquidy, took the mound last Friday against the Angels and pitched six scoreless innings! With that performance, he left a lasting impression to the Astro coaching staff. After that game, Jose was told he had made the playoff roster. With that being said, that poses the question: will Jose be the 4th starter behind aces Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Grienke? The rookie certainly deserves to be posting a solid 3.95era this season.

Jose’s trip to the majors certainly didn’t come easy. It all begin in 2015 when he was acquired by the Houston Astros. After years of the minor league grind, Jose made his MLB debut this year (2019). Jose’s journey truly resembles the saying “hard work pays off“. Our team at Activ8 couldn’t be more proud of Jose’s perseverance and dedication. Keep an eye out for Jose during the Astro’s championship title run!

For more about Jose, check out this article

Student Athlete: The difference is in your grades

Activ8 Athlete, Ty working on his Lacrosse skills

College coaches look for three things in a player and student athlete – are they a good person? – are they a good student? – are they a great athlete? I can say with much certainty that outside of these three questions nothing else really matters. Your recruiting process is long, overwhelming and nerve racking; but it’s what you do inside and outside of school that separates you from the pack. What is the key you ask? Simply put, be a good person and get good grades.

Junior Year:

Due to the recent changes in the NCAA this year is now the year you’re able to be recruited. You’ve proven yourself on the field and colleges want you to play for them. That first letter comes and you’re elated! “They want me, they really want me!!” But before you pop the bottle of sparkling cider know that this is only one small step in the process. What do you mean, I’m in… right? Nope. You still have to be accepted and trust us, the fact that you can drill 3 pointers all day long, run a 4.3, 40 or crack a home run to outer space won’t be the deciding factor. So then what is the deciding factors you ask? Who you are outside of sports and what’s your track record in the classroom.

Your first phone call with the coach:

Palms are sweaty, knees weak, mom’s spaghetti… am I right? You’re more nervous than that state championship game. This call, for you, is the first step to proving who you are outside of sports. There’s a lot of great players out there, the coach has to vouch for you, you’re going to represent their college. So, yes, being a great player is key but what’s more important is how you’re going to represent the school when you step off the playing field, court, ice etc. If a coach lets any Joe Shmoe or Sally Sue on the team that could cost them their job. Even though you might not know it, they’re interviewing you, no different than they would an employee for a job. Remember, there’s a ton of players just as good as you if not better out there. What can set you apart is the fact that the coach knows the athlete won’t cause trouble when they get to campus.

Getting in to the school:

“Ok, so I was recruited by them and that means I’ll get pushed through the admissions process, right?

Student athlete, Carson working with Coach TJ

Just because you got a letter, email, text or phone call doesn’t mean squat. You’ve got to have the grades to get in. Remember, your grades are now going to affect the teams GPA average – do you think a coach wants to gamble on a player who’s got a crappy GPA and brings the team average GPA down? Absolutely not! If the team GPA stinks, guess who’s to blame? The coach. If that happens, they’re out of a job!

After figuring out if you’re a good person, the next thing the coach wants to see/hear is your grades. Dun Dun Duhhhhhh. Here’s the thing, for a student athlete, your GPA is indicative of your work ethic, if you have a solid GPA and average ACT/ SAT scores you’ll be fine. If a coach can see you’re putting the work in, in the high school classroom, they’ll vouch for you and gamble on the fact that this will translate to the college classroom. The inverse of that – poor GPA & poor testing scores means no scholarship for Joe Shmo or Sally Sue. Moral of the story – put the work in now so you don’t miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Why you’re talent on the field is not enough:

We’ve said it a few times throughout this blog and want to reiterate it one more time. Remember, there are thousands of great players just like you across the country but there are not thousands of players who are great people and great student athletes. In a world of differentiating yourself you must do what others are not willing to do. That’s being a good person first and foremost, working your butt off in the classroom and continuing to dominate in your sport. I promise that if you focus on these three things everything else will take care of itself.

Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area?

Check out our online training platform below and reach out to us at We’re glad to spend time with you and talk about how we can create a program encompassing everything you need to train like a Pro!

Best Exercises to Help Target Athleticism for Volleyball Players

Activ8 Athleticism for Volleyball Players

Not sure how to maintain your competitive edge… Here are the 8 best exercises to help target athleticism for Volleyball Players. Athletes are always looking to gain a competitive edge, for volleyball players it shouldn’t be any different. Just going to volleyball practice a couple times a week is not enough! One needs to dedicate themselves outside of practice to take their game to the next level. Players should be working on their skill work (digging, bumping, spiking…) and athleticism (jumping, running, hand eye coordination…).

Picture this, you made a volleyball team, congrats!

You are beyond excited and attend your first practice. You are a little nervous because you want to do well in front of your new teammates and coaches. Remember, you only get 1 first impression so make it count! 30 minutes into practice you realize most of your teammates have been playing for years and are a lot better than you. You see your teammates jumping out the gym and spiking the ball at ungodly speeds. You ask yourself, “what have I gotten myself into?”.

Don’t let this experience discourage you, but use it as motivation!

Use this as fuel to strive to become equal or even better than your teammates. Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. Like we said earlier, just showing up to volleyball practice a couple times a week is not enough. Don’t get us wrong, practice is great for learning and working on your game, but you need to invest time outside of practice as well.

Think of it like this, you go to class to learn from the teacher.

In those couple hours of class are you ready to take and ace a test? Probably not, right? You need to read the lesson plan, do the homework, maybe take a quiz to make sure you truly understand the subject prior to the test. Reading the lesson plan, doing the homework, taking a practice quiz usually requires time spent outside the classroom in order to be prepared to ace the test! Just like an athlete, you need to prepare yourself outside of practice to be ready for the games! That preparation is PERFORMANCE TRAINING!

8 Exercises focused on Athleticism for Volleyball Players

What is performance training exactly?

Performance training is a structured workout regime that is geared to improve your athleticism related to your sport. Training for the proper adaptation is key! For example, if you are an explosive athlete like a volleyball player who does a lot of jumping, you wouldn’t train like a bodybuilder looking to bulk up. Instead, you will be doing more plyometrics, which are exercises looking to target power.

Here we have the 8 Best Exercises to Help Target Athleticism for Volleyball Players:

    1. Box Jump: The box jump is a great plyometric exercise for beginning athletes. Plyometrics means the ability to stretch and contract a muscle quickly, so think power and explosiveness. What is great about the box jump is that it mimics a motion volleyball players do…..jumping! This exercise will get athletes fired up to jump with maximal effort because everyone always wants to see how high they can get. The box will pose an an external motivator. What is beneficial about this exercise is that it is low impact on our joints because we are landing on top of a box making our landing height minimal, versus us doing a regular jump landing at a full height.
    2. VertiMax Squat Jump: VertiMax Squat Jump is an essential exercise to add to your training program because it targets the speed strength index on the force velocity curve. Think box jumps are a speed exercise on the force velocity curve because it is maximal velocity with minimal force (just your body weight). Now the VertiMax squat jump is a speed strength exercise because it provides banded resistance while allowing the athlete to perform at a near maximal velocity. It is important to train on all spectrums of the force velocity curve to fight through plateaus and to optimize the athletes power output.
    3. Hex Bar Deadlift: How does one jump higher? Jump mechanics and power development. The more weight (resistance) you can lift with your legs, the more muscle fiber recruitment you get. The more muscle fiber recruitment, the higher you can get on a regular body weight jump. Now the Hex Bar Deadlift is a great foundational lift to target strength! It targets strength in a body position we call athletic position, which is crucial.
      Take a second and think what position volleyball players spend most of the game in? If you said athletic position or a quarter squat position you are right! Understanding the demands and movements in each sport is essential when trying to maximize one’s gains in the weight room.
    4. Front Squat: The front squat is a strength/hypertrophy exercise that will mainly target the quads, glutes, and core. Again, is it important to be strong so this exercise will be a lower body variation to target maximal strength on the force velocity curve. We would recommend to keep the repetitions 10 and below; sets 3-5 with 1-2 minutes rest in between each set.
    5. Romanian Deadlift:

      The romainian deadlift is also a strength/hypertrophy exercise but this exercise will target more of our posterior side (hamstrings, glutes, and lower back). This is important for injury prevention and performance because every jump/landing starts with the posterior chain.
    6. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat:

      All the exercises I’ve named so far have been bilateral (two legged) exercises. The rear foot elevated split squat will be a great unilateral exercise to build strength/hypertrophy. It is essential to do single leg exercises to fight asymmetries. We don’t want asymmetries with in the body because if we have one leg stronger than the other that will lead to a higher injury rate. Balance is key!
    7. Depth Drop:

      Along with high intensity training that will result in one being explosive and strong, a Volleyball player needs to work on functional exercises that will target injury prevention! A depth drop will teach athletes how to absorb force when they land. Volleyball being a jumping sport, landing correctly is crucial and often overlooked.
    8. Continuous Lateral Shuffle:

      Last, but not least! The continuous lateral shuffle makes the list because volleyball players are in a shuffle motion a lot when playing defense. This exercise will help their change of direction as well as their anaerobic conditioning. Prescribe this exercise for 3-5 rounds, for 10-30 seconds at a time.
    BANGGG!!!! Now that you guys got the 8 best exercises to help target athleticism for Volleyball Players! With some dedication and consistency you should start to see your performance on the court reach the next level. If you are in need of more helpful tips to help target athleticism for volleyball players, please reach out to our expert team of performance coaches here at Activ8.See you on the court!Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area?Check out our online training platform below and reach out to us at We’re glad to spend time with you and talk about how we can create a program encompassing everything you need to train like a Pro!

How to Best Recover After an Injury

The Importance of Recovery

It can be hard for any athlete to get back into training after an injury, especially if it is a major injury such as an ACL. However, it’s important for every athlete to recover from an injury not only to keep your body healthy, but to be able to perform and compete in your sport’s upcoming seasons. When an athlete gets injured, it takes a toll on their emotions, which may lead them to lose motivation to bounce back into their sport, slowing down their recovery process. All of this will cause them to lose the strength and energy they had before. Here at Activ8, our goal is to restore strength, speed, and power that may have been lost while injured. Our training is designed to help you get back to where you once were while focusing on getting stronger, faster, and more powerful. For some, it may take a while to get back into playing, but the hard work will definitely pay off.

You’ve graduated PT but you’re not quite ready to return: 

Physical therapy does a great job of getting one back to square one. However, once cleared some athletes don’t feel ready to return back to the reactionary aspects of sports. It’s very hard to mimic the flow of a game, in training, but it’s not impossible. To incorporate the game style of training, Activ8’s created a complementary program to PT (H.E.A.L) that helps athletes further their confidence in returning to play. We focus on command based training, pivoting, cutting and ball reaction drills to name a few. H.E.A.L serves as the last step one takes before returning to play. Rushing back is never a good thing and like they say, “all good things take time”. 

Best exercises for common injuries:  

(ask your doctor and physical therapist prior to attempting these exercises ) 





Lower Back

Recovery is what’s missing: 

Overtraining is a real thing. Most athletes are overtrained and don’t know it. Taking time to recover properly is just as important as training hard. If you haven’t already, finding a piece of time in your training days or off days to focus on recovery could keep you out of the Dr. office. Of course stretching is one of the best ways to recover but let’s be honest, most athletes hate stretching. So is there something else one can do to get the benefits of stretching without having to stretch?  Yes! You’re in luck, see below. 

Our Two Favorite Recovery Tools 


One of our favorite tools we use to help recovering athletes is the Hypervolt from Hyperice. The Hypervolt is used to massage any areas on the body, a.k.a myofascial release, that my be tight or sore from practice and training. It allows the body to loosen up, which makes it easier to compete and train with 100% effort. 


Another tool we love to use is the Normatec Leg Recovery System. “The Leg Recovery System gives you fresh legs faster, helps you warm up pre workout, and recover right post training and competition.” -Normatec. 

Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area? 

Check out our online training platform below and reach out to us at We’re glad to spend time with you and talk about how we can create a program encompassing everything you need to train like a Pro!

How to Prepare for Next Season: NFL Offseason Training

The NFL is arguably one of the most physically demanding professional sports. Athletes spend countless hours practicing, developing strength, improving flexibility, healing, recovering, eating clean and sleeping well. NFL offseason training is a necessary component to prepare for the season. But training is such a broad way to describe the way these players prepare. We want to get specific and give you an idea of what it’s like. This blog serves to briefly overview and outline Activ8’s professional athlete training protocol.  

The Importance of Offseason Training: 

Offseason is the perfect time to get your body in shape for next season. Additionally, with adequate time comes the ability to dedicate a serious amount of hours to training. Training goes far beyond lifting weights and running. To give you an idea of what an average week entails, our professional athletes spend close to 20 hours a week “training”. 

To learn more about Offseason Training for Athletic Improvement, Click Here!  

The Preparation Process: Our Plan to help you Improve 

Here at Activ8, our plan is to help maximize your body’s strength potential in order to make you a stronger athlete. In fact, our NFL Offseason Training Process is a four phase process which helps athletes improve their strength, power, and their speed and agility

Flexibility and Mobility

The three target joints we focus to improve one’s flexibility and mobility are your hips, shoulders, and ankles. Take a look at exercises we use to target those areas. 

Hips: Physio Ball Piriformis Stretch                                       

Shoulders: Tall Kneel Band T’s             

Ankles: Heel Walk                                        


Ground reaction time is the primary focus during plyometrics. One’s ability to transfer energy fast off of the ground is a true test of speed and power. You’ll always hear Activ8 coaches refer to this next drill as RNT. RNT stands for Reactive Neuromuscular Training.  Check out this awesome plyometric/RNT drill: Stepper Rapid Response                          

Pillar Core Development 

All athletes, just beginning sport or professional, need to develop what’s considered your pillar core. One key muscle we focus on is the transverse abdominis

It is important to develop your transverse abdominis (TVA) because this muscle stabilizes the pelvis and provides support. According to Jennifer Regan at Bamboo Core Fitness, “[The TVA] defends against repetitive physical stress from various motions your body makes such as twisting, bending, running, squatting, etc.” This is especially important for NFL players, a strong TVA can protect the body from the physical demands of football to prevent injury. 

Favorite Speed Drill  

Not much needs to be said about the importance of speed. However, a better question is how to develop it.  Take a look at our favorite unilateral speed development drill designed for professional athletes: Single Leg Hurdle Hop Continuous                               

Looking for more insight into how we train our pros. Take a look at the link below: 

Activ8 NFL Offseaon Training

Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area? 

Check out our online training platform below and reach out to us at We’re glad to spend time with you and talk about how we can create a program encompassing everything you need to train like a Pro! 

Tennis players shouldn’t be lifting weights, right?

You’ve hit a plateau in your game. Powers not quite where you want it and your speeds stagnant. More practice may help a little but how do you see significant developments in these areas you ask? Weight training.

Hopefully, as you read that you didn’t imagine a bench press and some of your parents old rusty weights that sit in the garage. Weight training has progressed by leaps and bounds in the past 15 years. The bodybuilding style of weight training has now been replaced with scientifically proven exercises that develop power and speed while being tailored to athletes, better known as Functional training. This blog serves as a time to clear the air and let you know that it’s good old fashioned weights that can help you be a better tennis player.


The common narrative has popularized Functional training. Problem is, most people have no clue what it means. Functional training is a training principle that aims to train movements, predominantly compound movements (multiple muscles). An example of this would be a squat. Squats are one of the few “old school” exercises that incorporate multiple muscles during a single movement. Now, to be clear, Activ8 isn’t the biggest fan of the back squats due to the risk reward but it’s a good example to use since most athletes know/understand how to do it.

Back Day, Chest Day, Leg Day, Arm Day…… The Arnold Way:

For those of you not familiar with Arnold Schwarzenegger he was a famous bodybuilder, and not a famous tennis player. We hear it all the time, “oh, yesterday was a killer leg day”. What we want to hear, “wait, you’re telling me every day is leg day?”. Following a training program of leg day, chest day and back day is great if you want to compete in a bodybuilding competition and not if you want to be better at tennis. For tennis athletes, the focus must be on training the lower body and upper body twice each week, bare minimum. We love to do splits in our training for tennis players. An example of a split would be lower body pull, upper body push (in the same session).

Take a look at two functional exercises that follow this UB push and LB pull:



Tennis Training Activ8 Athleticism

Speed can improve by getting stronger?

Yes, as a matter of fact, one of the key components to speed is force.


If an athlete can learn to move heavy weight, properly and quickly, good things relative to speed. Our focus is always to make sure athletes are doing an exercise right first and foremost and then after that our goal is for them to move weight quickly. Check out one of the best bodyweight exercises a tennis player can do to help improve their speed.


Always seek professional help prior to attempting an exercise.

Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area?

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Cheer training for increased performance

Why should I train for cheerleading? Isn’t that only for football players? If you play a sport, you should be training. The practice involved in your sport is only specific to your sport. Yes, you may have a coach who’s put you through a core circuit before. However, have you trained with a professional coach who’s job is to improve athleticism? At the center of all sports is a divide between the athletically gifted and the ones who need to develop those athletic traits. Training, outside of cheerleading, enables one to focus on specific aspects of their athleticism. Why should a cheerleader train you ask? Fundamental cheer training aimed to improve core strength, flexibility and plyometrics could help you hit that skill that you just can’t seem to nail. Furthermore, training could also keep you on the mats, injury free!

Activ8 Cheer Training

Here are the reasons why cheer training is important for competitive cheerleaders:


Cheerleaders lift, jump, tumble, run, flip, rotate, land and dance. All of these athletic elements are strenuous on the body. But, stress is good. Wait stress is good? Yes, stress causes the body to adapt. If you apply that principle to training + practice, the body will adapt to a greater demand, making you better able to perform the athletic elements mentioned above as well as become more resilient.


Injuries happen when you’re tired. It doesn’t matter what position you’re in, tiredness can either risk your own health or the health of your teammates. Training to develop your stamina increases the brain’s ability to focus during competition. Once you become tired, the brain starts to fire slower and then a slew of things can go haywire. We recommend doing low impact cardio to preserve one’s joints. You’re already doing a lot of ground and pound on the joints during practice, no need to double up by running on cement or a treadmill. Opt for an elliptical, Versa Climber, row machine or even a brisk walk or hike. It doesn’t matter what form of cardio you choose, as long as it’s low impact you’ll develop the stamina you want without the pain in your ankles, knees and lower back.

Activ8 Cheer Training


The more flexible the muscle, the more force it can absorb and produce. Here’s the key, a dynamic stretch should be executed before practice or a competition and then a static stretch after a practice or competition. When you’re doing a static stretch you must hold the stretch for 1 min or else it doesn’t do anything! Wait, are you for real? Yes, studies show holding a stretch for one minute allows the body to recognize the stimulus (stress) and adapt. Remember, some stress is good! So when you stretch after practice or a competition, hold each stretch for 1 min and you’ll develop pliable and strong muscles.

Activ8 Cheer Training


Balance is not just for a top flyer. Competitive cheer takes great balance for all positions of cheer, and cheer training can help you develop this important skill. The flyer is an obvious athlete that needs to have great balance, as a gymnast on a beam. However, the flyer balances on the hands of another person versus the security of a beam that doesn’t move. Bases and back spots have to work on their balance so they don’t drop their top flyer. Competitive cheerleaders must have great concentration, strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance to perfect the elements of a pyramid or stunting sequence.


When all training elements are in place, it helps the athlete with injury prevention. All of these elements are needed to help the athlete become stronger, build endurance, and overall assist the goal of reducing injuries.

Time spent working on one’s body in the weight room allows the athlete to maximize and showcase their skills while competing. Cheer training is important not only to help you become a strong and supportive teammate, but to help you become the best cheerleader you can be. It’s imperative to not only have the top coaches in their respective sport but also a solid team of professionals such as Activ8 to play support in their development.

Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area? 

Check out our online training platform below and reach out to us at We’re glad to spend time with you and talk about how we can create a program encompassing everything you need to train like a Pro!