This off-season the 49ers strength and conditioning coaches wanted to make sure to challenge the players and keep the routine fresh by using different tools in our training. Fortunately the circle belts that had been ordered arrived on Wednesday and assistant strength coach Duane Carlisle was able to break them in with Thursday's workouts.
Football is a game which demands explosive movement in all planes of motion - forward, backward, lateral, and multi-directional. There are many training products on the market designed to improve multi-directional speed, but according to Carlisle, there is none better than a circle belt. The circle belt is basically a piece of rope with a clasp attached to it that allows the athlete to move in a 360 degree plane with minimal loss of speed, power, and balance.
Players partnered up with one person holding the rope and offering resistance to the other player who ran out in front with the rope wrapped around his waist, which is best shown by the pictures accompanying this update.
"You are pretty much pulling the guy behind you and you want to do it in short, quick steps so that you are really strengthening your quads, hamstrings and lower leg muscles," said defensive back Mike Rumph.
Carlisle kept the distances to about 30 yards with defensive players like Rumph starting out in a back pedal and mimicking game-like movements before turning and dashing up field.
"It's a short distance so it wasn't that grueling, but it's geared to help increase your explosiveness," said Rumph. "It went well and overall I think everyone is excited about these different training techniques. There's been something new and different every day and I think the workouts are really going to benefit us."
Rumph quickly became a believer in the belts, but heading into the workout Carlisle already had a convert in his corner.
"When we started out this morning Coach Carlisle was saying that he had the Mike Adams workout set for today because I am really big into resistance training," said Adams. "I was all smiles when he said that was the workout today."
At 185 pounds, Adams even paired up tight end Eric Johnson who at 256 pounds offered the defensive back a little more weight than some of the other pairings.
"I made it a little harder on myself, but that's my East coast partner," said Adams. "I might be little, but we're all out there challenging ourselves so we can get better."