Spring training is in full gear. Well, almost. My late March birthday found me 8 inches deep in snow. (At least in this great state of Colorado, it’s nearly gone by evening!) Still, long bike rides, rounds of golf, and a season of sleeveless tops and shorts are approaching at the same speed! In this post I’m sharing my top tips on how to make every spring training workout count.
There are five essential components to every workout I do. Whether my workouts shrink or expand like an accordion, based on my schedule, all 5 are still all there.
Watch this video for the quick review of my “5 Must Haves Every Workout Needs,” and don’t miss the secret that pulls them all together.
SPRING TRAINING WORKOUT MUSTS
- Warm up. That’s no surprise, right? Warm ups improve performance, even though the static stretching you were taught (and I taught) are a thing of the past. Raising your core temperature through specific activity is what is more important. Your muscles are more pliable when warm, and your joints get lubricated by synovial fluid. Your motivation to warm up? You’ll be more comfortable during you’re workout, and are more likely to work harder without perceiving it as harder. The risk of injury also decreases when you warm up first!
- Warm up II. This isn’t a typo! The second part of your warm up should be either specific to the kind of challenge in your main set, or based on an imbalance or movement pattern correction you’re working on. I demonstrate in the video a warm up option for a run. It’s a simple rear lunge implementing runner arms. It makes me rehearse good form, but allows me to focus on firing the right muscles without distraction. Benefits? Your core is more engaged, and your mind is set on the workout.
- Main set. If you’re running, then you’re going to follow your plan for the day. You may be doing intervals, a tempo run, or a long run. If you’re doing a weight workout, this is where you do the specific sets and reps according to your goal and plan.
Note: I am not a fan of mixing up strength and cardio. Neither is optimized for hormone balance when you do it simultaneously. You don’t get optimal cardio work: recovery. You don’t reach fatigue with weights. The biggest reason I don’t love this – what we’ve come to know as “boot camp” style workout – is that it almost encourages poor form. Intervals of 20 seconds with 10-second recovery are very advanced according to countless scientific studies done on elite athletes. The rest of us struggle to hold good form working at high intensity without adequate rest.
- Core. Your core is a big part of good form during cardio and or weight training. You want to be fresh during the main set and save the focused core work until the end of the session. Make no mistakes, it should all be core! Your core is getting good use during any activity. There may be a few things you want to add at the end. My favorite core workout includes a variety of stability, rotation, back extension, and lateral flexion. A little forward flexion is fine but this is one move we don’t need as much as we need the others. Your spring training workout needn’t be all core to work on your core. Three to five exercises for a minute each will do wonders.
- Cool down. This two-part component of your workout is so important! This is the time to do those static stretches I talked about earlier. In the first part consider implementing foam rolling prior to your stretches. The second part of cool down and last part of your workout is the active cool down. Whether you’ve done a vigorous cardio or weight workout, spend a few minutes walking or biking in order to enhance blood flow again after the stretch. You’ll reduce soreness and speed up the recovery process so you’re already increasing the success of your next workout!
It takes these five components for a great spring training workouts and three key components for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, nutrition, and sleep each matter. The foundation of every good workout is sleep. It’s the secret to feeling like exercise and performing exercise with good form at an intensity level that gets results. As a woman over 50, sleep becomes more important! Great sleep starts with a great mattress. I love my Sleep Number mattress! I love waking up feeling like every point of my body was supported.
This post was sponsored by the great folks at Sleep Number. As always, you can count on all thoughts being my own and all research listed below.