Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Training

Spring is always that time of year of hope and excitement, and all the joys of summer sport come flooding back. As we look forward to the days of trail or road running, golf, tennis, biking, and team sports like soccer, football, baseball and lacrosse, we need to be careful and remember that getting back into these activities will start working those muscles that may have become dormant with our winter training routines. Preparing our muscles for these movements will help us slide right back into our summer sports safely while increasing enjoyment. Here are two concepts to think about when creating your spring training schedule: Strength training and Yoga for sport.

Strength Training:
  • While being accepted as a part of a well-planned workout schedule, it is important that we plan for training that is transferable to our sports. Traditional weightlifting develops stronger muscle, however plan to exercise your stabilizing muscles that help in joint movement, balance, and provide the body with needed leverage.
  • You want to train movement, not just your muscles. Sport creates a need for the body to use force coming from several different muscles and joints. You want to plan exercises that use multi-joint movements that feed to your sport demands.
  • Multi-directional movement will help the body to build the stability for sport that creates force in varied angles and motions. When we think about trail running, as in any sport, we realize that not all motion is equal. Developing strength in a range of motion will help to compensate for the unknowns that are thrown at us in sport.
Yoga for Sport:
  • What we first think of when it comes to yoga is developing flexibility. However, after a few studies, flexibility is not the only benefit. Other benefits include increased stride length, decrease in muscle discomfort, improved unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation, stronger core, and mental benefits. Adding yoga to spring training will help decrease your chance of injury as we move winter sport into summer sport.

Reference from the SIRC collection:
Twist, Peter. (2008). Training Transition for Spring Sports and Recreation. Fitness Informer, Spring/Summer 2008, 18-19.

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