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Time to Shift to Mid-Season Workout
May 1, 2014Greetings softball fans!
This season’s journey is just about halfway way complete – and, as competition builds, the story is unfolding of how players and teams traverse the ranks to reach the top of their division. However, after practice, games and certainly tournaments our bodies begin to tell their own tales.
Hopefully your pre-season conditioning routine has paid off and you’re feeling good and injury free. Now is the time to exchange strenuous training workouts for more moderate intensity maintenance activities between games.
If you have already sustained an injury PLEASE lay-off, see the doc, DO any recommended physical therapy and come back slowly. You will avoid the risk of further injury and live to play another day.
To prevent injury and for best performance, players need to pay attention to pre-game warm-ups and post-game cool-downs.
A dynamic warm-up before play prepares the body for more strenuous work and helps prevents injury. Taking the time to perform a series of stretches post practice or game play (while the body is still warm) can really lend itself to maintaining flexibility.
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when creating your program.
Start warm-ups with a little walking and/or light jogging (5–10 minutes). Add a lateral steps and/or a few jumping jacks, followed by lateral arm extensions, windmills, stationary knee lifts, half squats, straight leg kicks and lunges (with trunk rotation). Each warm up should be done with control and last about 30 seconds, with a total warm up taking about 15 minutes.
This should go without saying, but some additional time should be spent warming up the throwing arm -- especially for pitchers.
It’s equally as important to stay warm between innings, so doing some of these actions on the sidelines is highly recommended.
After the game, spending just a few minutes performing basic stretches gives players the opportunity to wind down the body and the mind.
Quadriceps, hamstring and pisiforms stretches, holding each side for 30–60 seconds can help relieve tired leg muscles. Side stretches; trunk rotation or spinal twist held for 30 –60 seconds in each direction along with back extensor stretching can provide some welcome relief to the upper body.
Taking the time to stretch rests the body not only countering the physical effects of exercise but also provides the opportunity for mental relaxation.
It is ultimately up to each player to keep himself or herself feeling strong and injury-free in life let alone throughout the season. Striking a balance between training (including practice), game play and rest becomes the biggest challenge of the athlete during times of increased work.
Stay in tune with your body. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of clean, clear water. Be mindful and give your body what it needs even if that means backing off a little.
Your team will understand. In doing so you will be more likely to feel energetic and relatively pain free into playoffs and championship games.
Please get regular medical examinations. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or strenuous activity.
Any questions or comments please contact: Lisa Cachia, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at Benefitness@comcast.net.