A good GAA gym programme should involve using all parts of the body. This will help to strengthen each muscle group which will help to prevent injuries from occurring.
Before starting the programme an extensive warm up should be carried out that will get the heart rate going. A player should be in the gym foam rolling and doing band work before any exercise is started. The band work involves squats with bands around knees and ankles, hip lifts, exaggerated side to side walks and knee drives.
Some of the exercises that must be performed during the warm up are;
Squats, Hip Lifts, Jumping Jacks, Front Lunges, Side Lunges, Press Ups, Mountain Climbers and Ankle Hops.
These exercises are then followed by stretching each of the muscle groups. each muscle has to be be stretched for 10 to 15 seconds, some of these should always include;
Groins, Quads, Hip Flexors, Calves, Hamstrings, Glutes and Back.
Then starting on the main programme there should be exercises that will use all of the muscles in the body, both upper and lower body. A sample GAA Gym Programme to build strength and fitness is as follows;
Parallel Back Squat 4×10
Bench Press 4×10
Inverted Row 4xMax
Bulgarian Squat 4×10
Single Leg RDL 4X10
Seated DB Shoulder Press 4×10
Chin Ups 4xMax
3 Way Delt Raises 4×10
There are some power techniques that can be incorporated into each gym programme also that help to increase explosiveness and acceleration, some of these include;
Single Leg Lateral Hops
Hop and Jump
Two of these techniques will be sufficient per session as the bulk of the work is already done in the main body of the session.
This is the main part of the programme that involves using shoulders, legs, chest and the whole body. Along with every programme it is vital to always have some core exercises involved. Core strength is definitely one of the best strengths to have for GAA as it helps with power and sprinting techniques.
Finally after completing this programme with 4 sets done on each it is important to get a good warm down. This involves jogging around in a circle, lightly lifting the heels and then the knees followed by some side to side jogging.
Then the group must stretch all of the muscles used during the session, this time for 15 to 20 seconds. This makes sure that the muscles will not be as sore the next day and allows them more time to recover.
Foam rolling the muscles used will also allow them to recover more quickly. Jumping into an ice bath if one is available can be another way to speed up the recovery process so you will be physically ready for your next session.