With this beautiful August weather I know it’s seems absurd to begin thinking about winter and all the sports and activities that come along with colder temperatures; however, there is no time like the present to begin preparing your body to decrease the possibility of injury and excessive muscle soreness.
If you are someone who already attends the gym and works out on a regular basis, why not go with a purpose? Begin to alter your workouts to focus on strengthening the body specifically for the activities you plan to do in the winter. Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, ice hockey, and snow shoeing are some of the most popular activities that tend to start as we head into winter. If you don’t take the time to properly prepare the body for the stress placed on it during these activities (some more than others), then you are setting yourself up for muscle aches and soreness and also pre-disposing the body to injuries.
Use these key components to build your new workout routine:
1.) Cardiovascular Demand: Is your activity more aerobic or anaerobic? If you are required to work at the same pace over a long period of time (aerobic) then train by performing longer bouts of cardio. If you are required to do multiple short bursts of activity (anaerobic) then use interval training with work/rest ratios similar to those required in the sport/activity.
2.) Strength: does your sport/activity require mostly lower body strength? If so, what muscles most specifically? Analyze what muscles are used the most and build your lower body strength program around strengthening those muscles. It’s also a good idea to add in exercises that closely mimic the actions you are required to perform during the activity. For example, downhill skiing requires you to be in a squat position for the majority of the time you are going down the hill which strains the front of the thighs; therefore, you could mimic this by performing an isometric wall sit.
3.) Balance and Core Stability: does your activity require a lot of balance? By improving core strength and stability the body is better able to handle hits in hockey or decrease spills on the slopes, in turn improving performance and decreasing potential for injury.
4.) Flexibility: this is important because it improves joint range of motion allowing the body to withstand the twisting and turning forces placed on it. Stretching also decreases the strain placed on the knees and lower back during activities like skiing, snowboarding, and skating.
What do you plan on doing this winter? Take a minute to think about your activity of choice, analyze the movements, and plan your road to an injury free winter now!
Email Michelle@CORE-Condition.com for more information about how to build a program to prepare your body for winter sports/activities.
Michelle Roots BA Kin, CSCS, PES