There are a few reasons why most people go to a gym or fitness club. They might want to get fit, change their shape or tackle health issues through exercise. And a lot of people do sports for similar reasons. But did you realise that your workout could actually make you better at sports you love to play?
Here are the 5 main types of exercise that can actually make you better at sports, with our “science made simple” explanations of how it works:
Swimming is a fantastic all over body conditioner, adding muscle strength and tone and boosting your cardio fitness at the same time. And the best bit is you can even do it when you’re carrying an injury. (Sometimes, please check with your doctor/don’t try and swim in a full body cast).
What this means for your other sports is that your overall increased fitness boosts your performance. It also stops you losing so much condition when you’re taking it easy after an injury. So when you get back to playing again, your recovery is quicker.
A lot of people still think of stretching classes as the easy option. Or even worse, just for women. Luckily these outdated views are changing with the rising popularity of CrossFit and other multi-disciplinary fitness trends. They stress the importance of flexibility and there are very few sports when an increase in flexibility won’t improve your performance. It’s an increasingly well known fact, stretching makes you better at sports. This ranges from being able to get to that rugby ball hospital pass to smoothing out your golf swing.
Most sports require a degree of power, even if that’s confined to your wrist as you flick that dart towards the board. Power comes from muscles and you can increase muscles’ power output through strength training on the gym floor. This doesn’t mean you have to bulk up like a bodybuilder, but a combination of challenging your muscles to lift progressively heavier weights and high repetitions with light weights will both combine to give you the power and endurance you need for your sports.
Body weight exercises and using unusual equipment like ropes, monkey bars, sandbags and slam balls all force your body into a range of positions and movements it won’t find using conventional gym equipment.
This makes you better at sports because it more closely mimics the varies stresses those sports put onto your body. They prepare your body for the changeable reality that is typical of most sports, the different angles, twists and combinations of movement.
Whatever sport you play, chances are you get to the end of a session pretty done for. Unless it’s snooker of course. Regular endurance cardio training will mean you keep going for longer. And HIIT training or sprints will increase your ability to deliver bursts of speed. What style of cardio workout you choose will depend on the requirements of the sports you play, but there are very few where you won’t feel the benefit.
A fitness club that offers you the opportunity to do all five types of exercise could be just the ticket – so why not book yourself a free guest pass at one of ours?