Athletes all over the country are looking forward to getting back into the gym and doing what they love most! Before you get back into the swing of things, it is important to listen to your body and ease back into your routine.
To help with this transition back into practice, we put together some tips on how to stay safe and stay healthy while getting back into the gym.
1. Catch Some Restful Zzzz’s
Just like stretching, conditioning, and nutrition, sleep is essential for any athlete. Getting good sleep gives you the strength to get the most out of practice and can make you feel more prepared and focused. Getting good sleep the night after practice will also give your muscles time to rest and repair.
2. Start Slow & Work In To Your Skills
No matter how much you have been exercising over break, cheer and dance requires muscles that are hard to mimic. It's important to ease yourself in to prevent soreness and injury.
For the first few days or even weeks of practice, start slow with drills and beginner skills to get your body back into the swing of things.
3. Patience Is A Virtue
Getting back into practice is exciting after a long break, but remember to be patient. If your skills don’t pick up right where they left off, don’t get discouraged! Work with the strength and muscle memory you have now, and trust that with consistency and perseverance, you will get back to where you were in just a few short weeks!
Remember, you are not alone, everyone is starting over. Have patience with yourself and know that this a marathon, not a sprint.
4. Don't Forget To Stretch
Remember that even if you take it slow, you will probably have some degree of soreness the next day.
For fast recovery, it is crucial to warm up and cool down each practice with dynamic and static stretching. The good news is that this feeling won’t last forever, but to stay consistent and to stay healthy, it is essential to listen to your body, take it slow, and stretch.
Pro Tip: Incorporate foam rolling to help relieve muscle soreness!
5. Stay Active With Varsity Fit
The Varsity Fit Training Guide is a great resource to help improve physical fitness with skill progression in mind. Varsity Fit is made by cheerleaders and dancers, for cheerleaders and dancers. These cheer and dance specific workouts start small as you build up your strength, then the program ramps up to take your skills to the next level!
As you get back into practice, stay active, stay positive, and stay healthy! You’ll be back to where you were in no time!
Written By: Madeline Bassett