Photo report: Interim workouts

First summer term starts tomorrow, and the entire squad is set to report for workouts. But more than 50 athletes were on hand during the recently completed Interim term, and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Ben Pollard put them through their paces on a daily basis.

Left to right: Antwan Odom, Santonio Beard and Marico Portis warm up with hurdle stepovers. Coach Pollard prefers this type warmup to static stretching, because it guarantees the muscles and tendons are properly warmed up. This movement works on hip flexibility and is a strengthening exercise for the small muscles in the hip.

With Coach Steve Martin observing, Freddie Roach and Joel Babb continue their warm up with box stepovers. The movement also serves to strengthen the groin muscles. Behind in the middle is new walk-on kicker Keir Cooper.

Still rehabbing from his recent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his leg, Antonio Carter does weighted step-ups. Head Trainer Rodney Brown is still in charge of Carter's lower-body conditioning, though he should release him to normal weight-room work soon. This exercise isolates each leg, working on balance and stabilization.

Senior center Alonzo Ephraim works on the incline bench press. Though the flat bench press is a better known exercise, the incline more closely mimics a football movement--especially for offensive linemen. It involves more shoulders than strictly chest muscles, and the angle is closer to the "punch" utilized by offensive linemen in blocking.

Senior guard Marico Portis shows good form on the squat. Designed specifically to strengthen an athlete's lower body, under Coach Pollard's direction the Tide players squat three times a week.

Reserve tight end Teddy Gryska performs incline dumbbell presses. Forcing the athlete's arms to work individually, dumbbells are a more "realistic" exercise than using the bar. During a football play an athlete's hands are never even--either in position or pressure. Dumbbells are also better for range of motion.

As a supplemental exercise at the end of the workout, senior 'W' back Theo Sanders performs lap pull downs. To properly work the muscles, form is important. Sanders is working his arms (biceps) and back. Looking on to the left is Freddie Roach.

After finishing their weight-room work, the athletes moved across the parking lot to Coleman Coliseum. Running the steps is a time-honored exercise, working on both foot speed and leg strength. When Coach Pollard wants to emphasize explosiveness over endurance, he'll go to the track stadium where the shorter steps stress the legs for only around four and a half seconds--closer to that required in an actual football play. In line are David Cavan, Freddie Roach and Teddy Gryska.

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