We’re into the second week of July and already sports teams around the UAE are preparing for the new sports season. It’s a dreaded time for some, and for others, it’s exciting to get back involved with a sports team after an idle few months without any action.
If you’re aiming to improve as a player over the next few weeks then break down the different areas of your game and your fitness before the season gets into the thick of it over the coming months.
There’s no worse feeling than being the player slumping at the back of the line during training runs or dropping balls during skill work. Make 2018 the year where you iron out those areas of your game that have previously been poor.
Every person will have different targets for the new season, but for us, here are three areas to help you get ahead of the chasing pack and have the perfect year.
Get the balance of your training right
Irrespective of your sport, it is important to maintain extra fitness work off the training ground. If you are back in the gym looking to build strength, for example, don’t start lifting heavy weights or you’ll increase the risk of injury.
The key for now is to build it up slowly and do less weight but with intensity (this could be 8-12 repetitions of lighter weights). At this stage it is beneficial to do lighter weights as your muscles are adapting to new movements after a number of months of under-use.
If you’re tired then take a day off and don’t feel guilty about it either. If you feel like increasing the weight after a few sessions, then increase it. You know your body better than anybody else. Rest is crucial for your muscles to recover.
What weaknesses do you need to work on?
This varies depending on the player but each season will bring different areas of your game that need improvement.
Whether its flexibility, speed, fitness, skill work or particular muscle groups, this is the perfect time to improve before the season gets too hectic.
If it’s flexibility you need to improve then try yoga once a week, if it’s something leg-related then include an additional leg exercise in your workout, if it’s speed then practice sprints, and if your objective is to improve upper body strength then consult a personal trainer for some advice.
This is the best time to get a head-start on teammates so use the next few weeks wisely and be honest with yourself on and off the pitch. You can’t expect to improve your weaknesses without hard work and consistent training!
Eat well and feel sharp
If you’re looking to have a strong start to the season then begin with small changes to your diet. It’s a great feeling eating well and this will reflect in your positivity around the work place and the training ground.
One small change to make is reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, whether it’s through fewer sugary drinks, chocolate, dairy products or sweets. There are other healthier foods equally as nice like fruit, dark chocolate, nuts and gluten free pasta or rice!
In addition, eat a lighter lunch as you’ll feel more productive in the work place and not hit that mid-afternoon slump that generally affects most people on a daily basis.
One thing to remember is that we all work hard so it’s important to enjoy your down-time with friends and family. Enjoy your few nights out, have your cheat meals, but if you are motivated enough to want to get a step ahead of your teammates then be willing to make some sacrifices in your daily life!
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Melt Water benefits
During exercise, it’s vital to stay hydrated and ice cool Melt Water is a favourite of personal trainer Jennifer Chalouhi who has teamed up with Melt Water to talk us through effective outdoor exercises you can do almost anywhere.
Outdoor exercises you can do anywhere
Also known as star jumps, you should do sets between 30-60 seconds, that’ll help loosen up your body. Doing this boosts your heart rate, which causes the body to burn more calories and fat resulting in weight-loss. By breathing deeply while performing jumping jacks, your blood circulation will improved and oxygenates your blood and muscles.
This will also increase your heart rate, meaning your heart will perform more efficiently. You will also find yourself suffering less from shortness of breath amid various activities, as it will help you build your stamina as a result of skipping. It’s a full-body workout as your legs are constantly moving, as are your arms and shoulders and it works your core too.
Here you want to do double outs and double ins. That means bouncing up and down and moving your feet outwards, bouncing twice, and then brining them together. Afterwards, add in some twists, ski jumps and alternating doubles too. The flexible surface moves with you as you land reducing the stress on your ankles, knees, and hips.
Are you competing in any fitness events in July and August?
Here’s our top three to get involved in!
IRONSTAR INDOOR TRIATHLON – RACE 2 and 3
Saturday, July 21 and Saturday, August 11
Endurance sports lovers can get back in the groove with Ironstar Indoor Triathlon Series’ third race of the season.
With five races across five summer months, the series aims to keep triathletes active during a time of the year when the heat takes away the option for outdoor activities.
By holding their triathlons indoors, Ironstar are giving athletes plenty of reason to keep swimming, running and biking during the summer.
The fourth race takes place three weeks later on August 11.
TIME: From 1pm
MORE INFO: Ironstar Indoor Triathlon
RUSH-A-WAY SUMMER CHALLENGE
Friday, August 10
Another new adventure is headed to Dubai with the Rush-A-Way Summer Challenge, set to physically and mentally test participating teams in a variety of ways.
Each challenge will offer a different test, with aspects like teamwork, stamina, strategy, communication skills, quick thinking and speed required.
With it being summer and the heat ratcheted up, this edition will take place at indoor locations, meaning there’s nothing to sweat as you zoom through the challenge.
Teams will earn points based on how fast they complete each challenge, and those that don’t finish in the given time will receive a penalty.
The regular registration fee, which is available until July 31, is Dh630 for teams of three and Dh840 for teams of four. After that, the last minute registration will cost Dh660 for teams of three and Dh880 for teams of four.
Included in the fee is an international buffet lunch and gift vouchers.
TIME: From 8am*
MORE INFO: Rush-A-Way Summer Challenge
ADSC INDOOR RUN FERRARI WORLD
The Abu Dhabi Sports Council Indoor Run will be hosted by Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Mall next month.
The run will start and finish in Ferrari World with the run taking in the ground floor of the mall.
Runners will have options to take part in either the 2.5k, 5k or 10k.
TIME: From 8.15am*
MORE INFO: ADSC Indoor Run Ferrari World