Getting Back Into It

For summer activities you want to first take care of any nagging pains that could impact your performance.

Summer is the time for outdoor activities! But moving too quickly could be difficult on your body. Getting in to see a PT for a proper examination and exercise program is a good first step to make sure you start your activities off right.

If you are not having pains prior to beginning summer activities, then a proper build-up to the venture is important for injury preventions. Doing small “doses” of your activity will help build tolerance for when you begin. Starting slow and building your capacity can allow you to perform your activity without immediately overworking yourself.

Here are some stretches to prioritize for the most popular summer sports!

If you golf, then working on putting and trunk rotation is crucial. Warming up for golf can include trunk rotations, cat/cows, thread the needles, and standing hip circles to get your hips and back warmed up.

If you play tennis then strengthening your hips and building up trunk rotation tolerance are key. For tennis, working on leg stability with star balance drills, lateral band walk, and standing hip circles can help keep your hips and knees healthy. Working on trunk rotation with open books and thread the needles would be a great warm up.

For waterskiing, you want to work on making sure your grip strength is strong and your leg endurance is adequate. Doing things like carries and wall sits could help with this.

For biking, make sure that your bike is fit for you if you are planning on long distance riding. Getting miles in prior to hitting the road for a long-distance bike is crucial for building tolerance. Jumping right in can cause you to become overworked quickly and develop aches and pains. Back mobility like cat/cows, open books, and side bends can help possible stiffness as you are in a hunched position for a long period of time. Seal position can help stretch out the hips prior to getting on a bike, which is going to have your hips flexed deeply with very many repetitions. Doing some knee-to-chests while standing can help warm the hips up for being able to do this as well.
For hiking, building up to bigger hikes is going to be the biggest thing you want to work on (if you choose this goal, of course). If you are hiking uphill, then using a stair-climber frequently throughout your week is going to build tolerance for uphill hiking. It’s good to work on single-leg balance as well as dynamic strengthening like 3-way taps, tap downs from a step, and lunges. Make sure you have proper footwear that is going to match the terrain you are hiking in. If you’re going to be near water then waterproof shoes would be appropriate.
For swimming, air squats are good for pumping blood into the legs prior to starting your swim. Kicking underwater while your hands are on the edge of the pool can also be a great warm-up. For the shoulders, arm circles and straight-arm pulldowns are great ways to get your shoulders loose as well as stabilize your rotator cuff and activate your lats.

Don’t forget: hydration is crucial for staying healthy and replenishing fluids.

As you know, it can get very hot!

An easy way to make sure you are hydrating properly is to drink 30% of your body weight in ounces every 15 mins while doing your activity. Getting electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium back in your body as you sweat them out is also important to reduce chances for dehydration. These can be gotten from foods and sports drinks. (Just watch the sugars in the drinks!)

Stay fit, prepared, and hydrated this summer!