Athletic competitors and exercise enthusiasts are accustomed to fulfilling consistent workout routines to enhance their physical fitness, generate the cathartic mental release, and prepare for outdoor activities and sports events.
However, the COVID-19 virus pandemic has prevented many people from being able to play their favorite sports or complete normal workout routines. Being restricted from going to the gym has been especially difficult for exercise enthusiasts, and having summer sports canceled has been highly frustrating for athletic competitors. It is understandable for athletes to become demoralized and lose motivation from being unable to compete in any summer sports.
We are still remaining hopeful that sacrificing normalcy over the summer can enable the pandemic to subside and sports to reopen in the winter. There is no need to wallow in idleness and regress from inactivity throughout the summer, as many athletes are choosing to instead stay productive and capitalize on the free time by ferociously preparing for winter sports.
For people itching to get back to the social setting of the gym, many companies are beginning to offer sessions that can allow you to return to winter sports in better shape than ever by helping you build your strength, increase your speed, and improve your skills. For people who are reluctant to immerse themselves in social environments, there are many workout routines that you can fulfill from the comfort of your homes and that can also prepare you for the return of winter sports. Regardless of whether you stay at home or attend a gym, working out to prepare
for winter activities can instill you with motivation to stay in shape, provide you with the adrenaline rush that accompanies exercising, and enable you to dominate your sport by maximizing your physical condition and performance levels.
Returning to Gyms:
The Alpine Training Center
The Alpine Training Center in Boulder has officially reopened for sessions. The gym offers exercise sessions for workout enthusiasts eager to stay in top-notch shape and for serious athletes attempting to prepare for sports competitions. Owner Connie Sciolino created the Alpine Training Center in 2009, but like so many businesses Sciliono was forced to close her company during the lock-down phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, as the lock-down requirements were lifted last month Sciolino was relieved to reopen the gym, resume her normal workout activities, and reunite with her clients and athletes.
“Everybody was really excited just to get back into the routine of working out and having a session schedule be part of their lives again,” says Sciolino. “Some athletes stuck with exercise programs or followed my online videos. But others didn’t do anything for three months and are psyched to finally exercise.”
Sciolino is also satisfying the social distancing requirements and intense sanitation standards needed to help ensure the protection of her clients and the safety of the gym.
“All coaches and athletes wear masks during the indoor sessions,” explains Sciolino. “The gym is now partitioned into training blocks so you have a designated area. We used to move around the gym and share equipment. But now you stay in your own space, we don’t share equipment, and everything is cleaned at the beginning and end of each session.”
“It’s definitely worth the sacrifice,” continues Sciolino. “The athletes were so ready to get back that the restrictions were kind of secondary. They’re happy to wear masks because they feel that’s what they have to do to work out and to eventually get past the pandemic.”
However, the lingering effects of the pandemic and the cancellation of summer sports has been disappointing for Sciolono and the athletes.
“They cancelled July, August and September events,” bemoans Sciolino. “That’s challenging because there’s nothing to look forward to, they’re wondering why they’re training, and many are still struggling with everything being taken off the calendar in the summer.”
This encouraged the coaches and athletes to shift the focus towards maintaining ideal fitness and then preparing for winter sports.
“We’re in maintenance mode right now,” says Sciolino. “Some are just getting back in shape, and then in August we’ll ramp up our programming for winter sports in preparation for the ski season.”
Several skiing, snowboarding, running, cycling, and climbing competitors train at the gym. But the Alpine Training Center also offers exercise classes that are available for everyone and that many clients take two to three times per week. The summer sessions currently include indoor classes with the advanced gym equipment and outdoor sessions at the East Boulder Rec Center.
“We do group training, so in a normal year we’d have 8-10 athletes in a group,” explains Sciolino. “Each session is led by a coach who guides them through that day’s programming, and most of the stuff we do in our gym is strength-based.
“Then the outdoor sessions are more endurance-based,” elaborates Sciolino. “For each day I’ll pick one piece of equipment to take with me, and we do more running, jumping and sprinting activities. Those are more on the conditioning side, and so if they do a mixture of indoor and outdoor sessions they get a pretty full package.”
Helping athletes enhance their fitness and maximize their performance is rewarding. But Sciolino mostly cherishes her relationships with the athletes, the camaraderie of the groups, and the sense of community that permeates throughout the gym.
“The main reason people come and stay is the community,” touts Sciolino. “They train with people who are like-minded, they push eachother, they’re always looking out for eachother, they’re psyched when people do well, and so that community atmosphere is a huge part of the Alpine Training Center.”
At-Home Workouts During the Summer of COVID
Although attending the gym has the benefit of the social environment and professional instruction, Yellow Scene also realizes that some people might be inclined to stay home throughout the summer to continue quarantining themselves from the pandemic. But shed no tears, because you can still fulfill exercises that are conducive for specific winter sports and that you can do in the living room while binge-watching your favorite shows or in the backyard while basking in the summer sun.
Colorodans are fortunate to live beside high-quality ski resorts adorned by massive mountains, exciting slopes, and gorgeous views. Many at-home exercises can help you get in exceptional shape for the ski season.
Lunges: Doing standing or walking lunges can help you strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, and hips that are so crucial to the ski and snowboard process.
Hip Twists: Hip twist exercises can also help prepare your hips for the many twists and turns you make while cutting down the mountain.
Leaps: Leap exercises of jumping back-and-forth over a rolled up blanket would improve your ability to remain stable while bouncing or jumping on the snowy terrain.
Whereas downhill enables the force of gravity and the slope of the runs to generate speed, cross-country skiers must use the poles in their arms and the strength of their legs to sustain momentum.
Shoulder Exercises: Lifting dumbbell weights to the front and side of your body can help accumulate the arm and back strength required to push the poles while skiing across the runs.
Running and Hiking: Consistently jogging through your local neighborhood or hiking on Colorado’s beautiful trails can help increase your endurance for the cross-country season.
Situps: Strengthening your core with situps is important for handling your poles, moving your skis, and shifting your weight on the relatively flat terrain.
Ice skating features the balances of athletic prowess with artistic sensibility, brute strength with soft gentleness, and raging furry with graceful elegance. Likewise, physical balance is also a crucial aspect of the sport, as you must frequently skate on just one foot while performing spins, landing jumps, and gliding across the ice.
Single-Leg Deadlifts: Standing in place while holding dumbbells and lifting one leg back, front, and to the sides can help you master the balance of your body while enhancing the power of your legs.
Core Exercises: You can strengthen your abs and enhance your stability by laying on your stomach while performing various core workouts, including plank, superman, mountain climber, and bird dog exercises.
Stretches: Stretching can help you develop the agility and flexibility needed to contort your limbs and twist your body into various creative positions while skating on the ice.