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Try a weekend warrior workout

Fitness: Get ready for summer fun and games with resistance exercise

Posted: June 17, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 17, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Hector Quinonez demonstrates wood chops.

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The sun is shining, and it is time to get out and play on the weekends.

The average weekend warrior who enjoys sports such as softball, golf, running, beach volleyball, cycling, swimming, Frisbee, jet skiing, water skiing or just a game of catch should include resistance training and stretching as part of a weekly routine to keep from getting injured.

Upper body
Many of these summer sports include rotational movements using upper body, core and back.

Be sure to include power, core and upper-body exercises that will strengthen the shoulders and back as part of your weekly fitness routine.

To keep you feeling fit and remaining injury-free while enjoying whatever adventures you may take on as a weekend warrior, I suggest the following exercises.

Adding this routine to your regular workout will make you a better athlete, even if it is just for fun.

Develop power
First, let’s develop power. This is one of the first qualities we lose when we are inactive. To get back into a “powerful” groove perform exercises, such as the medicine ball side toss.

This exercise is about generating power through your entire body to drive the ball against the wall and will translate to improved performance in all of the above-mentioned sports.

You’ll also want to be ready for a game of “skins” versus “shirts.”

Conventional wisdom is to perform a large number of crunches to get your six-pack in order, (just in case you end up on the “skins” team).

However, lying on the floor crunching will not transfer to the above sports and is not the most effective way to get a six-pack.

Recent research reveals using core-stability exercises is much safer and more effective than crunches for strengthening your core and keeping you injury free.

Try wood chops
Instead of crunches, include core stabilization exercises and rotational exercises, such as wood chops, which use the whole body, and will transfer to your weekend activities.

In addition, full body exercises, such as wood chops burn a ton of calories and will get you lean and ready to take your shirt off in no time, if you need to.

It’s imperative to strengthen the upper body, including the back and shoulder girdle, using exercises such as cable rows and push-ups. Don’t make the mistake of only doing bench-press exercises and not balancing it out with pulling exercises.

Finding balance
Think about balancing your pushing movements in your fitness routine with your pulling movements and don’t forget about good old-fashioned push-ups.

Push-ups are not only an excellent upper body exercise, but also a fantastic core stability exercise.

If push-ups are too easy for you, add load either by placing a weight on your back or using chains, which work by decreasing the load as you lower into the hardest position (more chain rests on the floor) and then increase in load and difficulty as you move into the easiest part of the push-up, adding an extra challenge.

Keeping your push exercises balanced with your pull exercises will ensure you don’t end up with a neck or shoulder injury and that you have the strength to throw, catch, stroke, or hang on.

Stretch, too
Add the above exercises — along with some basic stretches  — once or twice a week to ensure your body is ready for whatever the weekend may bring.

Good stretches to include are stretching your hips, your hip flexors and your chest.

Rachel Cosgrove is the author of “The Female Body Breakthrough” and co-owner of Results Fitness, 24420 Walnut St. in Newhall. For more information, visit or (661) 799-7900.


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