A wonderful benefit to wrestling season (no, it is not the 5 a.m. road trips) is daily “practice”. I use the term “practice” very loosely. It should be called “boot camp”. The wrestlers “practice” 5 days a week, 2 hours a day every week. No excuses. These wrestlers are serious.
And the result is they are in fantastic shape at the end of the season. Amazing shape. These teens are probably their healthiest, strongest, and top-condition.
But, it’s off-season. No more daily “boot camp”. What to do? Well, I’m not my son’s coach and I don’t want to act like one. I also don’t want to be one of “those” sports parents – you know, the parents pushing, pushing, pushing their kids. Yea, that’s not me.
However, I don’t want my son to lose the edge and progress he gained from his hard work.
So, here’s what I’m doing. Encouraging. Suggesting. Backing off. Cooking the same types of healthy meals off-season as during season. Controlling the food (i.e. do not buy junk food just because the season ended) in the house.
Here are 5 great off-season workouts and activities I’ve suggested (and done except one!) with my kids.
Bike Ride — We live in a rural area but this activity is great ANYWHERE. Hop on a bike, don your helmet, and set out for a several mile (yes, mile) ride. Great activity for the whole family. Teach bike safety (including hand signals) along the way. Enjoy the scenery. Laugh. Have fun!
Run — My son loves to run (who knew – remember Forrest Gump and the long run? No. Here’s a video clip just to distract you from exercising “run, Forrest, run!” ). Ok. I don’t run (4 pregnancies and births… I don’t run. But I do ride my bike while my SON runs.)
During “boot camp” he would run several miles a day. It is no different off-season. A low / no cost activity. Put on running shoes. Run. That’s it. If you need entertainment take your ear buds and phone. Here’s a great site for runners — tips for new runners.
Strength Training — Once the cardio is done it’s time for muscle toning. Nothing works better for strength training than weight lifting. I’m not talking about Arnold S. here. But wrestling is about endurance, strength, and flexibility. This workout will cost a little but the payout is worth it. Most online sites suggest hand weights or kettle balls, and resistance bands.
Key here: work out with your wrestler! Make it a team effort. Spend time together, laugh, encourage, and have fun! This is a suggested workout alternative is found here. I would modify any work out to suit my wrestler’s ability and safety. Safety first — always!
Yoga — Yup, dads, I said yoga. Go with it. Yoga has many benefits including stretching, flexibility, balance, strengthening, and stress reduction. Nothing like toning your core by standing on one leg. You can do it! Cost — pretty low. Download a work out (this one is by Jillian Michaels), buy a DVD, or take a class; it all depends on what you want to do with your teen.
Now you have 5 great off-season workouts to do with your teen. No excuses!
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