Training Ahead for Your Sport Season
By Donna Stark
Well, once again I was proven right. And although I try to stay humble and not let the situation get the best of me, I really couldn't help it with my teen daughter. So I said it. "I told you so. I wish you would have just listened to me." I know those words didn't help and I know they were the last thing she wanted to hear, but I was upset that she had gotten hurt, and angry that she didn't take my advice to start training before her track season started. "Don't worry Mom, there's plenty of time. I got this." Those famous last words, right? Well, do you want to know what happened? On day three of the season, no less? She pulled a muscle and has so far missed the first three weeks of her season.
Training Your Body
Even though most people keep up with their overall fitness throughout the year, it may be a good idea to start training for that seasonal sport in the months leading up to it. By doing so, you will be able to improve your athletic performance and reduce the risk of aches, pains, and injuries. Here are some suggestions.
- Prepare the muscles to be used - You know which muscles and joints are used the most often in your sport, so start adding some exercises that target those specific areas during your everyday workouts. For example, if low back pain has plagued you in the past during your chosen activity, be intentional about building up the muscles in that area of the body.
- Build up your endurance - Almost every sport requires some amount of endurance, and you definitely don't want to become winded a few minutes into play, so make sure your workouts include some amount of cardio.
- Mimic your motions - Look for exercise options that mimic the motions of the sport you will be involved with. Utilize the machines at your local gym to help condition your body for running, sprinting, swinging, and kicking. Take classes with plenty of jumping, twisting and reaching. These will all help to ensure that your body is ready for the constant motions once your sport begins.
- Consider a sports camp - Practice your skills before the season starts by attending a sports camp. Most camps include drill sessions, skill-building exercises, and actual scrimmages that are designed to enhance your athletic performance no matter what your level of play may be.
Ready for Competition
Conditioning your body for competition is very different than simply exercising to maintain good health. It's important to start early and set aside enough time so that you can fully prepare for the season ahead. One last piece of advice? Don't be like my daughter. If there is anything you can learn from her, it's that sitting on the sideline is never any fun.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.