Have You Started Spring Training Yet?
Have you started your “spring training” yet? You don’t have to be a pro baseball player to need a little physical conditioning for warm weather pursuits. Whether you’re into paddleboarding, tennis or beach volleyball, the arrival of spring and summer means that you can get out there and play again. Unfortunately, that also means that you open yourself up to pain and injury if you haven’t prepped your body with targeted physical conditioning.
Learn From Past Summers
Chances are, if you have a seasonal pursuit, you already know which muscle groups instantly start complaining when you first re-start your hobby. And you also know where the aches and pains appear the following day!
If you canoe or kayak, your first outing or two may have your back screaming within minutes of taking up the paddle. On paddleboards, thigh muscles can get a workout from keeping you upright, while shoulders often feel the strain of the longer paddle. Obviously, hiking can put a strain on calf muscles, while beach volleyball can strain the knees from the constant jumping and twisting.
In the months leading up to spring and summer, it can be helpful to focus workouts on those areas specifically. Your past experience will let you know the muscles, joints, and tendons that most need physical conditioning before you once again take up your activity of choice.
Begin With Spot-Training
You don’t have to neglect your overall fitness routine when you begin physical conditioning for your sport. But adding some new moves that focus on those “in demand” areas reduces your risk of future injury and discomfort.
For example, if knee pain after a hard game of tennis has plagued you in the past, start now to build up the muscles surrounding your knee. Calf raises, hamstring curls, and leg stretches are among the moves that help you condition these areas. Getting them both more limber and stronger means that knee joints don’t bear the brunt as you pivot and leap around the tennis court.
Keep Endurance in Mind
Almost every outdoor activity involves at least some cardio. But your favorite pursuits may be particularly challenging from an endurance standpoint. If you’ve booked an early-season weekend hike with friends or signed up for a tennis match, you don’t want to find out the hard way that you’re getting winded easily.
During those “training” months, look for indoor exercise options that mimic the outdoor event you’ll be doing. Your fitness center’s treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes all have settings that can help condition you for biking, hiking, running and other high-octane sports. Similarly, look for an aerobics class with plenty of jumping, twisting and reaching. These will help get your ready for the constant activity that beach volleyball or tennis demand.
Of course, it’s not always obvious what workouts will best condition you for your chosen summer activities. BackFit can take the guesswork out of injury prevention. We will help you create a program that balances the specialized flexibility enhancement, strength training, and endurance expansion you need, to help you get ready for summer activities.