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Fitness:  Sports-specific Training Workouts

Golf, tennis, bowling, soccer, snowboarding, ice-skating and skiing are all types of sports that can be considered as exercise. But would you believe that an athlete should first exercise before he could successfully participate in these strenuous activities? Tiger Woods would not win so many tournaments without spending endless practice sessions even under dire weather conditions!

How does an athlete exercise for the following sports activities?

Biking — since this involves the lower part of the body, more specifically the legs, the focus should be on this area.

1. Squat exercises—would not only strengthen the legs but would also exercise the gluts.
2. Leg press—this is best accomplished when the cycling motioned is mimicked. The upper portion of the legs would benefit greatly from this exercise.
3. Leg extension—a word of caution, though, the person must have very, very good knees to do this exercise. The lower quads are the target areas for this workout.
4. Leg Curls—exercises the hamstrings.
5. Flexing the hips—the person could go to the local gym to use equipments that are specifically designed for this type of activity.
6. Raising the toes—step up on a platform and make sure to dangle the heels. Slowly lift your weight up, then down. Do reps.

Bowling — while most would view this sport as a low-impact activity, warm up exercises are still needed before one could start playing. Just like any sport, there is an area of the body that this sport will soon strain. In this case, it’s the hand muscles and joints.

1. Running should be able to give ample warm up and this would highly increase the flow of blood to the muscles.
2. Neck stretching. Tipping the head towards the left then the right would stretch the muscles there.
3. Stretch the shoulder by holding the elbow with your hand while the hand is behind the head. Make sure that the stretch is felt.
4. Do side stretches as the torso is extended on both sides.
5. Hook both forefingers and pretend to pull them apart.
6. Do grip exercises.

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Golfing — since this is generally thought as a leisure sport, it is also believed that not much preparation is required to be able to participate in this sport. But that is fallacious. Just like any other sport, it should be given ample training, too.

1. Walking exercises.
2. Swinging the golf club.
3. Back/Shoulder/Arm Stretches

Skating — since this is a leg sport, the area to concentrate on should be the lower body.

1. Gentle or brisk walking
2. Mimicking cycling exercises
3. Leg stretches
4. There is also a special device that has been specially made for skating. This has a pair of stirrups that can move back and forth. Resistance to weight could also be adjusted.

Running — as odd as it may sound, running is started through walking. Walking for 30 minutes is a good ‘first move’. After getting comfortable with walking, start running at a comfortable pace. The best exercise for running is…well, running. However, as you increase mileage, it is highly recommended to add some more cross-training such as swimming or biking, since they are easier on the joints.

Skiing — the lower part of the body should be the focus. There are several gym equipments that could be used in addition to regular walking.

1. Use a calf machine. If there is no calf machine on your local gym, use barbells across the shoulders.
2. Hamstring Curl Machine
3. Adductor machine
4. Any form of aerobic exercise (especially those that target the legs) would be good to improve endurance.

Soccer — for this type of sport, training is not enough. Injury prevention should also be a concern, thus, stretching should be done at longer time intervals.

1. Jogging
2. Leg stretches (5 minutes per stretch)
3. Stomach stretching

Snowboarding — this type of sport requires balance, muscular endurance, strength and agility.

1. Warm up by doing brisk walking immediately.
2. Skipping or cycling could replace the brisk walk.
3. Total Body Workout- from stretching to the high impact exercises.
4. Cardio exercises, Leg presses, Lat exercises and abdominal exercises.

Tennis — just like bowling, the main areas to focus on are the hands and wrists.

1. Running to and fro on the tennis court.
2. Tennis ball retrieval. Place the balls across the court, get each one, return to the baseline then back again. Do reps.
3. Ball throwing. Have your tennis partner throw balls at you and catch them as quickly as you can.
4. Wall squats
5. Lunges.

Hiking — this is mainly an endurance sport so the training for this activity should improve the person’s staying power.

1. Carry backpack (about ten pounds should do it) and do brisk walking.
2. Try to walk on inclined surfaces.
3. Treadmill workout
4. Cardio workouts on the gym

To guarantee an athlete’s success, his training should be equal to his desire to excel in sports. More so, the person’s attitude has a major impact on the end result of his chosen sport.

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