Bad weather this winter got you stuck inside? If you’re itching for spring already and want to hit it hard in your sport the moment winter thaws, these six indoor exercises will keep you strong, so you don’t have to build back up to peak fitness – much.
This is one of the most underrated activities for outdoor and action sports enthusiasts. But building strength and power is one of your best allies in becoming the athlete you want to be and performing at your best. It maintains and strengthens the muscles you use, as well as the muscles that support your body.
Opting for only cardio will give you the opposite results you want come spring time.
Does that mean you need to go straight for the barbells? Nope. Better foundational alternatives for strength building are kettlebell and bodyweight exercises. These help you develop functional fitness for two reasons: They are dynamic, and they are more similar to movements that we naturally perform.
Twenty seconds all-out exercise. Ten seconds rest. Repeat eight times. Kick it up a notch, and do it for four to eight different exercises. Kettlebells, sprints, rowing, pushups, you get the idea.
Just 16 minutes will help keep your aerobic and anaerobic fitness from falling during the winter months indoors.
One of the best indoor exercises, rowing is a total-body workout that uses nine major muscle groups. Ostensibly, you're pushing your shoulders, back, biceps and triceps. But you're also using your lats, core, glutes, hamstrings and quads.
Despite the high number of muscles used, rowing is also a low-impact exercise, which makes it ideal for injury prevention and rehab. Also, rowing is an amazing cardio workout. And the basics of indoor rowing can be learned in 10 minutes or less.
Swimming laps in the pool builds cardiovascular endurance like you wouldn't believe. Not only that, swimming helps you develop a rhythm to your breathing, a benefit that can carry over to your sport.
It also works almost every muscle in your body, from core to glutes to arms and so on. And while it's great for building muscle, it's better at preventing injury due to its low-impact nature.
Believe it or not, swimming also increases flexibility, particularly in your shoulder muscles, chest, and lats. Think about those arm swings you do before a workout (or at least see people do). Now imagine doing that for 30 minutes.
A simple and low-impact way to maintain some cardio endurance and stamina. In modern spin classes, you can depend on encouraging instructors and upbeat playlists.
However, keep in mind this is not a stand-alone exercise. It just makes a good addition to your weekly workout routine during the winter months.
We couldn't make a list like this without including yoga. From increasing flexibility and strengthening muscles, to improving posture and breathing, yoga is a practice you should include in your life year-round.
What's more, yoga is an awesome opportunity to learn to quiet the mind, develop focus and attention. It can even increase body awareness, which can carry over into your sport.
Winter is the perfect season to begin the habit. Check out our free Yoga workouts on our Yoga Universe YouTube playlist.