Five activities that will ease your body #backtosports
After a long break from the barbells, dumbbells and weight machines, many of us might find our muscles hurt more than usual after a training session. Depending on the length of the break and the kind of exercise you were doing, it can take between two weeks and several months to build your strength back up. However, it’s crucial that you ease your body back into training to avoid injury.
This blog post will explore the different kinds of activities that will help build your core muscles, increase your flexibility and provide a strong foundation to get back into your training plan, so you can enjoy a pre-lockdown physique in a post-lockdown world.
1. Strengthen your core with Pilates
Although Pilates classes are often female-dominated, this core-strengthening class is fantastic for men too. Harvard Health agrees, saying “Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body.”
A Pilates class might not sound as intense as heavy lifting, but it’s challenging in a different way. Here positions are held for a longer amount of time and are designed to target specific muscle groups. These are the kinds of exercises that will make your whole body shake.
Pilates is good for people who are easing back into training because it’s low impact and targets the core – i.e. the back, abs, shoulders and butt. The more stable your core, the less likely it is you’ll get injured when lifting heavy weights in the gym. And for those who think Pilates is an easy class – just try out one of our partners and see how easy it is for yourself!
2. Swim your way to success
Swimming is a fantastic, full-body workout that targets every muscle in your body. Because there is no impact, this sport is an effective way to recover after an intense workout and help soothe sore muscles. Swimming works the core abdominal and lower back muscles, which is the foundation of our core stability. Just like Pilates, when these muscles are strong then risk of injury is low.
Swimming is also fantastic for mental health. It’s been proven that regular swimming, even just 30 minutes a day, helps relieve stress, increase concentration levels, boost endorphins and lower feelings of anxiety and depression. And research finds the colour blue has a soothing effect on mental wellbeing. Pale blue tones, in particular, are said to have a calming effect on people. So make sure you explore the beautiful open air swimming pools of Germany before they close up for the winter.
3. Master the art of breathing with Tai Chi
This is a great activity for a rest day. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art originally developed for self defence, however it’s evolved into a centering and calming practice that connects the breath, the body and the mind. Some describe Tai Chi as “meditation in motion.” Just like with meditation, the focus and balance that Tai Chi brings will have a positive impact on other elements of your training.
Knowing how to breathe effectively gives us inner strength that helps us last longer, go faster and lift heavier. And Tai Chi brings us back into balance. If you ever feel a little over-stimulated after a hard and fast training session, Tai Chi will bring you back down to earth in a beautiful and peaceful way.
4. Consider calisthenics
Calisthenics is extremely challenging, however because it’s strictly bodyweight there’s little room for injury and the progress trajectory is very satisfying. Calisthenics is essentially resistance training with your own bodyweight. In a class you will learn how to stabilise and strengthen your core in order to perform movements such as muscle-ups, handstands, pull-ups and dynamic balances.
Calisthenics takes a lot of time, dedication and practice, however this class will lay strong foundations that will benefit other elements of your training plan. You’ll have rock solid shoulders, abs, balance and stability, so you’ll be well prepared to take on any activity you like! Most functional fitness partners offer calisthenics classes.
5. Get back into training with bouldering
In recent years bouldering has increased in popularity across Germany. Films such as the Dawn Wall and Free Solo have captured imaginations across the world and encouraged more and more people to try climbing. More bouldering halls have opened as a result, and with them has come a sense of community. Being part of a community keeps climbers coming back for more so they can get fit with friends and find a new challenge with ever-changing routes.
Climbing is also a great full-body workout, working every muscle from the tips of your fingers to your toes and building core, back, arms, legs, shoulders and mental strength. All of this helps increase performance in other areas of fitness. Urban Sports Club has tons of bouldering partners across Europe – just find one in your area and let the climbing commence!
If you’d like to try Urban Sports Club’s wide range of activities then sign up today!