Winter is in full swing, and that means it’s time for cold weather sports. For the snow sports fan, this is an exciting season. You’ve waited all year to break out your gear and hit the slopes. Or, maybe you’re a snow sports newbie and can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about. Either way, it’s important to be informed about each sport so that you can make the best decision and prevent injury.
The Ins And Outs Of Snow Sports
Winter sports differ from other sports in terms of risk factors and difficulty levels. In addition to the normal physical stresses that exercise puts on your body, cold weather comes with a long list of problems all its own. For instance, altitude sickness and hypothermia are legitimate concerns.
Because of the extra dangers present in snow sports, it’s important to be well-informed about the activity you choose. Here’s the 411 on three popular winter sports:
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, want to get in shape, or you’re just seeking a thrill, snow sports are an excellent option. But they do come with their own set of risks. Before participating in any sport, especially those in extreme weather, be sure to prepare with the right equipment and take all necessary precautions to prevent injuries.
Personal trainer Ralph Roberts customizes workout plans geared to his clients’ specific needs, fitness levels, and goals. If you’re thinking of taking up a snow sport and want to prepare your body for the effort, contact us for a consultation.
When you think of sports injuries, you may think of football or other extreme sports. The reality is that sports injuries can happen during any type of workout. An injury can happen suddenly. You know right away that you hurt yourself, because the pain is sudden and severe. Other times you may not realize right away that you’ve hurt yourself. You may continue with your workout and notice hours later that you have swelling or an abnormal amount of pain. Other injuries are the result of repetitive movement. It is important to note that most sports injuries can be avoided.
How Can I Avoid Sports Injuries?
There are a few major causes of sports injuries. One common culprit is not warming up before activity. It is important that you do this each and every time you work out. Muscle pulls and tears can happen without a proper warm up.
Check Your Form
Another common cause of injury is improper form during an exercise. If you’re trying something new, it is wise to have a coach or trainer go through the exercise with you. He or she can ensure that you perform the move correctly, with good form and don't overdo it.
If you have just started working out, you may be excited and ready to get some results. That’s great! However, if you are not accustomed to certain types of exercise, it is best to ease into things. Trying to do too much, or to do a move that you have not built up to can result in an injury.
How Do I Know I Have A Sports Injury?
In some cases, you know right away. You experience acute pain during your workout, you know immediately that you have been injured, and you know why. Other times, you may realize that soreness and swelling have developed several hours after your workout.
Some injuries hurt no matter what you’re doing, and some will only be bothersome when you are doing certain activities. It is important to see a doctor if you suspect you have an injury. Sports injuries can take a long time to heal. The best course of action is to avoid them altogether.
Should I Hire A Personal Trainer?
One of the many benefits to hiring a personal trainer is a reduced risk of injury. A personal trainer will assess your current physical condition and develop a personalized routine that is appropriate for your level of fitness. He or she will then take you through the routine, ensuring that you have proper form. Ralph Roberts is an Amarillo personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club. He can build a custom workout plan for your specific training needs.
If you are training for a specific sport, know that there are exercises you can do that will make you run faster, play longer, and just be 'better' at your sport, no matter what it is. There are several sports popular in the Amarillo area during spring, and these sports-specific training exercises will have you at the top of your game in no time.
Exercises for Baseball or Softball
If you are a baseball or softball player, cardio is key. You want to be able to run the bases quickly, or head to the outfield for that fly ball as fast as you can. Cardio in this case would including high intensity interval training during a run. What does that mean? It means that you will start out at your regular pace, and at intervals, insert sprints. It is those sprints that will get you to home base safely.
Additionally, ball players need core and lower body strength. Plyometrics are great for this. These type of exercises actually are a combination of strength training and cardio, and rely heavily on the muscles of your core and lower body. Add in a total body circuit to really add some strength, and you will bring your 'A' game to the field.
Exercises for Track
If you run track, plyo training is good for you, too. Plyometrics, or jump training, gets that heart rate up, and then brings it down. It uses the fast twitch muscles, which you need as a track runner. Short, fast blasts will have you running faster in no time.
As you run, too, concentrate on building stamina. Rather than focusing on speed, focus on distance. If you regularly run a mile, or three, or five, up your distance. Once that distance becomes comfortable, you can work on increase the pace of each mile.
Exercises for Volleyball
Volleyball players need a strong core, a strong lower body, and endurance. A game may not be that long, but you are 'on' for the entire time, and you need to be strong and steady for the whole game. Start with doing extra core exercises and lower body exercises, like planks, squats, bicycle crunches and lunges.
For endurance work, try long runs or even bike rides.
Exercises for Swimming
Swimmers always need strong cores. When you aren't swimming, do core work. Wood chops, bicycle crunches and planks will tone your core, and when you are swimming, concentrate on really extending your strokes, and growing longer with each one.
Need some help with your sports specific training? Contact Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts today. A former professional baseball player and is now a nationally certified personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Ralph has the experience, skills and drive to help you bring your best. If you are interested in signing up for baseball specific training, click here.
One of the most exciting things about this time of year is undoubtedly baseball season, especially for kids. Every year, an estimated 27.4 million children between ages 6 and 17 in the U.S. participate in some form of athletics, according to a 2012 survey. There are bounds of benefits that children receive if they participate in sports, such as good health, social interaction, and not to mention the fact they are setting themselves to continue healthy habits. Children who play sports are nearly 10 times more likely to be active when they get older.
If you are looking to get your kid in shape for baseball season, Ralph Roberts, a personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club, is currently offering group baseball training for Amarillo and Texas Panhandle children.
Where Can You Play Baseball In Amarillo?
There are countless opportunities for parents to get their kids involved with baseball in the Amarillo community. The West Texas Youth Baseball Association is a USSSA sanctioned baseball program. There are several teams for a variety of age groups.
The Amarillo Family YMCA and Kids, Inc. also provides baseball for children in the area. Parents can surely find a team or league for their children.
Where Can My Child Train For Baseball?
Ralph Roberts, a nationally certified personal trainer and former MLB player, offers baseball training for kids in the Amarillo area, including Canyon, Dumas, Dalhart and Hereford. For $35 an hour, you can sign up your child for a group training session. Children can sign up with their teams or with a group of their choice.
What Can You Expect From Baseball Training?
With Ralph, you will get an authentic baseball experience. For seven years he pitched for the Atlanta Braves. Before that, he played throughout high school and college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He most recently played for the Amarillo Dillas where he helped the team win three consecutive championships.
During the training session, kids can expect to do agility, strength, balance and core exercises. Depending on age and skill level, you may exercise with a medicine ball to strengthen your core, or do some TRX exercises, etc.
Ralph will also discuss the “mental game” of baseball and motivational techniques on how to push yourself as a team. You can’t undercut the importance of teamwork in baseball, and Ralph will demonstrate this through discussions about team captains, stepping up to be team leader, on and off the field, and accountability. A teammate is your family, and like a family, you will encounter good times as well as challenges with your teammates.
Ralph will work with children, adolescents and teens, including Amarillo junior varsity and varsity baseball players in area high schools.
Where Can I Sign My Child Up For Amarillo Baseball Training?
For a genuine baseball training experience for your children or Amarillo baseball team, please contact Ralph Roberts with the Downtown Athletic Club to set up a training schedule. Not only does he have experience playing baseball, but he also has experience training and working with children.
Ready to get in shape for baseball season? There are a number of exercises that you can do to prepare. From core work to leg work, your body needs to be ready to run, jump and slide.
It is important to note that if you do not already work out regularly, and are not in the best shape, you should start slowly. You do not want to rush into these workouts and injure yourself, or you will find yourself sitting out the season. Below, we've outlined some workouts, exercises and moves to help you prepare for the season.
How Can I Build My Core For Baseball?
Core training helps with everything. It helps with balance, with strength, even posture! A baseball player has to have a strong core in order to twist and turn, in order to get a good swing going, in order to keep himself or herself in the game.
To train your core, think of a) keeping it engaged no matter what you are doing (lifting weights, just walking around the house or sitting, etc) and b) working both the abs and the back. Do crunches every other day (sets of 20, start with one or two and work up to three, adding more reps as you can) and planks. Start by holding your planks for a few seconds and work up to a minute.
What Strength Training Moves Are Good For Baseball?
You need to lift weights in order to strengthen your body. Baseball players have strong upper and lower bodies. Compound exercises that help you train a number of body parts are perfect. These include squats and deadlifts for the lower body, and bench presses and rows for the upper body. Start with sets of 10 with lighter weights and then work on adding reps and weight.
Should I Do Sprints and HiiT Workouts?
Baseball players have to be quick! When you go for a run, add in sprints and also work on interval training. Since you will typically be running in short bursts on the field, and then resting, you need your heart in tip top shape, and HiiT workouts will do that for you.
What About Stretching/Yoga?
Make sure to stretch once per day, and always after you workout. Stretching will improve your range of motion. This helps your performance on the field, and will decrease any chance of injury. If you enjoy yoga, work in some yoga several times a week. Hold your stretches for about 30 seconds each, and never bounce. Only perform static stretches. And don’t forget to eat right.
If you want professional training for baseball season, contact me, Ralph Roberts. I am a nationally certified personal trainer in Amarillo and a former professional baseball player. Baseball was and still is an important part of my life, and I can help you train for baseball season, increase stamina and provide you with nutrition tips. Contact me today to learn more.
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