5 summer sports to tune your trainingJune 29, 2018 | by Katie Meredith
You’ve dug out the sunscreen. Bought a new swimsuit. Battled the Kitsilano crowds and started to remember that living in Vancouver isn’t all about surviving the rain. Summer is here – finally!
The warmer months are a perfect opportunity to switch up your physical activity and trying a new sport may compliment your training more than you think. You don’t have to take on the Grouse Grind every weekend to build quads of steel. There’s plenty more that might give you an extra edge in your primary sport.
Here are five summer sports that will compliment your training – how many can you try this summer?
Great for: Balance-focused athletes such as figure skaters and synchronized swimmers.
Helps to: Build deep core stability and pelvic control. It’s the ‘Swiss Ball’ of water sports!
Top tips: Paddling earlier in the day means you’ll avoid the breeze – any wind usually makes paddling pretty tough. Chest up, eyes up and keep paddling (trust us – you’re more likely to go for a splash when you stop to admire the view)!
Great for: Tennis, soccer and hockey players, and other athletes requiring short bursts of energy.
Helps to: Improve hand-eye coordination and increase anaerobic capacity (i.e., effort lasting approx. 10 seconds – 2 minutes).
Top tips: Basics first – don’t overcomplicate! Start by aiming to keep the ball off the sand with small passes close together. Keep a ball at work, at home or in the car, and pass the ball as often as you can. See how many times you can pass to yourself or against a wall without the ball dropping.
Great for: Runners, cyclists, hikers, and those looking to take the load off of injured joints.
Helps to: Build aerobic and lung capacity, and arm strength.
Top tips: Try to feel the glide of each stroke, using strong kicks with your legs and arms. And get in the ocean! The chilly water helps with recovery after a training session.
Great for: Swimmers and triathletes.
Helps to: Increase upper back endurance, trunk stability and grip strength.
Top tips: Torso and legs should do most of the work – not your arms. Sit up straight (without leaning on the backrest) and keep your chest open to enable better use of your upper back and arm muscles. Hold your wrists in a strong position without letting them bend as you pull the water.
Great for: Skiers, snowboarders and runners.
Helps to: Building aerobic capacity and leg endurance.
Top tips: If you’re not familiar with cycling, start by clocking up some steady kilometres. Don’t spend extended time in a high gear. Instead, aim to maintain a cadence of 70-90 RPM. And of course, wear a helmet every time.
Why cross train?
But why mix up your training, anyway? It’s easy to fall into a routine of training and playing only one sport. We all know that practice makes perfect – but what is the benefit of variation?
Participating in a wide range of physical activities (particularly for kids) exposes your body to new stimuli. This could mean that new muscle groups are working, that joints are moving in a different range or that you are even working a completely new energy system through the altered intensity of activity. Exposure to different stimuli creates a physiological adaptation, increasing resilience and physical ability in a range of skills. Plus, when your body is stronger over a range of activities, your risk of injury lowers significantly. That’s reason enough to mix it up!
Looking for a more individualized approach? Book a consultation with a strength & conditioning coach to discuss your goals and build the the right training plan for your needs.