Training for the recreational athlete
Alright, summer is upon us!
Finally, you can get outside, go for a run, play basketball, go hiking… all the fun things you’ve been waiting for since last summer.
But as soon as that sunny, warm weather comes, one thing many people fail to think about is their lack of preparation for all of the movement that happens during the summer. Many recreational sports involve running and jumping, which can cause serious injuries in adults that have had limited movement due to their jobs and/or quarantine.
Sitting causes chronically tight hip flexors and rounded shoulders. If you haven’t been training consistently before heading out for a run, that could translate into a hamstring pull or shin splints.
A few of the most common injuries that happen are knee and shoulder cuff injuries. Think about all of the muscles that surround those joints! For your shoulder, you have your traps, lats, triceps, biceps, pecs, and neck muscles. For your knee, you’ve got your quads, hamstrings, and calves. Not to mention all the stuff in the middle that connects your upper half to your lower half.
Consistent and progressive training all year long will help you to stay ready to move however you need to, no matter what you’re doing. Less injury = more fun!
“Split squats aren’t a magical cure, but they help to build the strength and range required to run safely without injury, including ankle flexion, knee flexion, and glute strength.”
Training for Prevention
There are a few key exercises we recommend to keep your body moving the best it can.
For the upper body, trap 3 raises are one of the best exercises to keep your shoulders in tip top shape. Your traps sit behind your shoulder blades and are important to helping your shoulder move how it’s supposed to. When we sit on a computer for most of the day with our shoulders rolled forward, our traps become stretched and weak. This causes the surrounding muscles to become tight and weak and our shoulders can’t move properly. When you go to play softball in the park with your friends, your throwing, batting, and catching will be off and your risk of injury increases.
By performing trap 3 raises, you help your shoulder to move properly and reduce your risk of injury. Check out our demonstration video here.
For the lower body, you can’t go wrong with split squats. Sitting for long periods of time during the day causes your hip flexors, glutes, and hamstrings to become weak. All of these muscles working together help your lower body to function properly and your knee to flex and extend the way it’s intended. Loading your lower body with heavy weights or going all out running when you’re body isn’t primed for it causes most of the common injuries that you see in runners. Split squats aren’t a magical cure, but they help to build the strength and range required to run safely without injury, including ankle flexion, knee flexion, and glute strength. If you missed it, we wrote a whole article on split squats here.
In short, if you haven’t been training your body throughout the year, probably don’t jump head first into whatever recreational sport you’re into. Help your body work as well as it can by priming your body for repetitive movements by integrating trap 3 raises and split squats into your workout. And get some help if you need it. Our coaches are excellent at helping you move pain-free no matter what your sport is.