I wanted to start you guys off with a few of my all-time fave forms of working out. As a figure skater, it's a necessity to go throw your jumps regularly to ensure proper technique, better strength in the landings, and over all stronger, more solid jumps. As off-ice (what us skaters call it) training is great for skating only, it doesn't provide you with all of the benefits as say, running 7 miles would. For skating (as most any other sport), you need the ability to put out TONS of speed in a short amount of time (think 4.5 minute programs), endurance for long-programs, or so you won't be dying by the end of any program, and strength in just about...every muscle of your body. One of the great things about skating is you work SO many muscles in everything you do...arms, legs, abs/core, back, even shoulders can get worked if your technique is correct. Otherwise, here's a few other ways I stay in shape for hitting the ice:
Kickboxing is a MAJOR favorite of mine. I love coming up with my own bum-busting combo or popping in the all famous Tae-bo DVD when time runs short (Billy Blanks is a genius!).
The Classic Collection--Oldies, but goodies :)
I know lots of people look down on workout/exercise videos...what's your take on a tape?
Tapes aren't my favorite thing to do, but during these frigidly cold (and ICY!!) months it's not always accessible to go on a run...now in the summer time, I much prefer outdoor forms of working out...but most of the time during winter, I stick to indoor forms, whether it be treadmill (as much as I loathe it...), the gym, or tapes.
I recently purchased a new workout DVD...heard of the "Jackie" series? Yep, it was one of those...the blue one...not sure what it's official title is...:P
It has 5 complete workouts included on one tape (total body for 40 min, 15 min, upper for 15, lower for 15, abs for 15)...that's a pretty good deal, I thought!
I wasn't at all impressed with the total body workouts...but the targeted body part ones are really great!
Now...onto the title of my post...recently I have been getting back into a lot of plyometric training--excellent for figure skating, running, skiing, basically any sport that requires leg/lower body strength (after I had the o.k. to work out again after my knee healed, this type of exercise caused more pain than most, so I have just been able to start this again). Eccentric contractions (which combines stretching of the muscles + jumping) are much more effective at toning your muscles than Concentric contractions, which are simply explosive movements. Some trainers even call plyo "metabolic training" because it is one of the top forms of exercise to get that heart rate up and boost your metabolism.
Lately, there's been a lot of talk about the importance of strong bones in order to keep total health. I am in agreement with this 100%. It is so crucial as athletes to MAKE SURE you get enough calcium, vitamin D, and proteins. The combination of these vits and minerals + strength training (and cardio) is a simple way to ensure you are keeping your bones in tip-top shape. If you have a family history of bone loss, osteoporosis, etc., you might need to focus more on the vitamins and minerals...but TALK TO YOUR DOC--remember, I'm not a physician...just a health nut + fitness junkie ;)
What about you all...what are your fave forms of sweating? Fave time of day to workout? I'm a tried-and-true a.m. sweater...nothing beats a hard-core run + a power yoga sesh while the sun is rising! :D
As always: Stay happy, stay healthy.