Mubarak “Bar” Malik, Director of Athletic Performance for the Knicks, hit the Turf a few weeks back for a one-on-one workout with Coach Alonzo focused on basketball strength & conditioning moves. The workout consisted of drills that Bar does with the guys on the squad and that we do in the House. You’ll see these moves and more during a weekend of basketball-inspired workouts at the House on March 18 & 19. Sign up for these workouts (at NOMAD and UES) at tonehouse.com.
Bar, who has been hitting the Turf at Tone House in the past few months, is in his 4th year with the NY Knicks, and his second year as Director of Athletic Performance. He oversees sports science, strength and conditioning, and works closely with the player development coaches on individual technical and tactical goals. Prior to the NBA, Bar worked for EXOS (formerly Athletes’ Performance) and in Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bar has a Master’s Degree in Human Movement Science from A.T. Still University. We asked him a few questions about his favorite moves and drills to do with the Knicks squad, got a peak into his own fitness regimen, and found out what he loves about the Tone House experience.
What’s your favorite move to do with the guys on the squad to increase explosiveness?
To increase explosiveness, I try to focus on the fine tuning of the stretch shortening cycle in jumping. My favorite exercise to use with the guys is Box Depth Drop and Jump to look at flight time and contact time as a means to increase explosiveness by improving jumping mechanics. I also use Box Depth Drop as a monitoring tool in-season to ensure guys are maintaining their explosiveness.
What’s your favorite speed work drill to do with the guys?
I like to keep the drills simple with speed work in season as these guys are running over 5000 meters in practice. My favorite speed drill to use would be resisted skipping and sprinting using a bungee or bullet belt with emphasis on foot strike, shin angles, and leg drive.
What’s your favorite piece of equipment to use in your training sessions?
I love Kettlebells. Kettlebells give me the ability to work on flexibility, power, strength, and capacity by just changing the volume, intensity, and creativity of the training session without moving equipment all over the gym.
What type of recovery programs do you think are most effective when training at such a high-level, whether it’s the NBA or a workout like Tone House?
The goal of any recovery program is accelerated removal of the effects of fatigue and continuous management of muscle tension/muscle spasms during high level training such as in the NBA and Tone House. The most effective methods for recovery are cold tub therapy and compression. Cold tubs therapy constricts the blood vessels preventing waste products from being delivered to the cells and immediate immersion of 6-10 minutes post training results in better performance compared to waiting 1-2 hours post training. Compression (NormaTec boots or tights) assists in improving performance by helping clear waste products and continuous compression immediately after strenuous training enhances the local tissue environment promoting a quicker healing process.
What does your own training regimen look like?
I have a six-day routine that I like to use. Three themes that I rotate throughout the week for 6 days depending on travel and time: 1) absolute strength day which includes heavy deadlifting, heavy squatting, weighted pull-ups, farmers carry, etc., 2) power day which includes Olympic lifting and Kettlebells, and work capacity day which includes lifting, running, jumping, bodyweight exercises, core, etc. with a time component on it.
Tone House is athlete-focused, and the program design is based on what is necessary for elite athletes to be successful in any sport. To be able to package that up with a great facility, great staff, physical therapy, recovery and all the necessary tools needed for the everyday athlete to be successful during their training is very unique and one that resonates with how I look at performance.
What do you personally like about the way we train at Tone House?
A successful training program in elite sport is one that is infinite, movement based, systematic, and athlete-focused. Elite athletes have to possess and develop specific physical properties such as elastic strength, power, acceleration, work capacity, and mental fortitude. So the training has to be designed in a way that supports all of those properties. Tone House is athlete-focused, and the program design is based on what is necessary for elite athletes to be successful in any sport. To be able to package that up with a great facility, great staff, physical therapy, recovery and all the necessary tools needed for the everyday athlete to be successful during their training is very unique and one that resonates with how I look at performance. It’s a great place to train and the culture at Tone House makes you feel like you are part of a team.