By: Hibernian Media on 24 Mar, 2020 13:12
The message from the Scottish Government is a simple one.
Stay at home and save lives.
Through Hibees At Home, over the next few weeks we’ll be enlisting the help of the team at HTC to provide some practical, bitesize advice to help keep you fit – in body and mind.
Our Head of Academy Football Science and Medicine, Steve Curnyn isn’t the type to sit still for five minutes, as one look at his Instagram account will testify.
The club’s very own Mr Motivator has been charged with making sure our young players take responsibility for their fitness until they’re back at HTC and he’ll be doing the same for supporters.
We caught up with Steve to find out what his role has entailed in the past couple of weeks.
Steve, what’s your job involved of late?
My role has been mainly with the Academy players, ensuring that they’re keeping up some sort of fitness training. We want them to keep developing. The past week has been spent in my back garden putting together training sessions – filming myself or taking pictures doing different exercises. Whether it’s conditioning runs or stuff they can crack on with in their house. It’s making sure their general welfare and wellbeing is being looked after. Whether it’s exercise, a nutritional plan or their mental health, we’ll try any way we can to help them keep moving forward. As bad as this situation is, there’s loads we can do. We want them to take ownership of their development – to learn how to cook and take charge of their fitness and wellbeing.
One thing you incorporate into your own regime is Animal Flow and you’ve promised to teach us the basics in the next few weeks. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Animal Flow is a very dynamic form of exercise. It’s like a combination of breakdancing, yoga, some bodyweight strength training and gymnastics all rolled into one! It mainly targets bodyweight strength, mobility and stability. It works the body through multiple ranges of motion. I like it because football is such a dynamic sport through multiple ranges of motion. It really works a player’s mobility – which comes down to a mix of strength and flexibility. All the evidence tells us that the more mobility you have, the less chance you have of getting injured. So, it’s really good for players of all ages. For the kids, especially, it’s a really fun form of exercise than just sticking to the usual routine of push-up, plank, squat and lunge. Because it’s quite challenging it stimulates you to think about what you’re doing and you become quite competitive.
How did you come across it?
A lot of my philosophy for training comes back to movement. A lot of traditional strength coaches are all about lifting heavy, smashing and slamming things. I like good, quality movement. For me, if you can move well then you tend to become a stronger athlete. So I was always obsessed with human movement and finding better ways to do it to aid performance. One day I came across this guy, Mike Fitch. He’s a strength coach from Miami and this is his baby. I saw a course on it in Edinburgh about five years ago, went on it and I was hooked after a few days learning the basics. After a good few months of working on it I’m now qualified to coach it.
It looks a bit different. Did it get a few strange looks to begin with?
It did. When we introduced it with our youngest age levels it was good fun because they could have a laugh with it, making monkey noises and so on when we did the ape exercise. But when I started doing it myself in the gym I was lucky that a couple of the players picked up on it instantly. Guys like Daryl Horgan and Ofir Marciano. They saw how it would be relevant to them. Lewis Stevenson was the same. They wanted to get involved. Now Daryl, for example, is so good at it that he could probably teach it. When you get good pros like that it creates that bit of curiosity between the rest of the players. They want to know what’s going on. Stephane Omeonga gave it a go and he had no problem because he did a lot of breakdancing when he was younger. We introduce it at 10-year-olds and has been rolled out right through to the first team. We would do it daily with the Development Squad and now more and more of the first team boys have started incorporating it.
How do you use it within a session?
With the younger kids we use it as part of their strength sessions. It comes under mobility and core. With the Development Squad we use it to warm up for training. The first-team boys normally come to see me first thing in the morning or after training. We’ll maybe do a 20-minute session when it suits them. Daryl, for example, likes to do it at the end of a workout. Lewis will do it beforehand. When you’ve done a session of it your body feels good for it and the body doesn’t lie.
Are players getting more open-minded in the social media age?
Social media is excellent for that. When I started doing it at Hibs, Ofir was one of the first to show an interest and that’s in part because he was already following people on Instagram who do forms of this type of training. That’s a big part of his training and he really appreciates it. Players are keen to try things. They’re always looking to get that extra edge.
In the coming weeks Steve will be offering an insight into the work that our young players have been given to do remotely, along with some short videos to help you keep fit within the confines of your own house, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.