Don't let the winter get in the way of your training regime

Don't let the winter get in the way of your training regime

Winter weather is here and that means there's plenty of excuses not to workout, but it’s important to keep your fitness levels up throughout winter. 

And remember, your bikini body is made in winter. 

Training throughout the year is important but when it’s cold and dark outside it can be much harder to get motivated. Nelsons arnicare® ambassador and World Junior No.1 tennis player, Belinda Bencic, reveals how she keeps fit during the off season.

Belinda says: “Winter training in the off season is important for me and many other athletes because it gives us more time to work on building a strong foundation and also the chance to change any technical aspects of my game. I wouldn’t be able to do either of these during the season as I’m generally maintaining fitness levels, motivation and trying to stay injury free!”

Here are my tips for the off-season training:

Set yourself goals. You need a plan for exactly where you want to go and what you want to improve. For example, last season I wanted to improve my serve. I wanted more power so I could better make the transition from the Junior’s tennis circuit to the Pros. I changed my grip slightly and hit hundreds of serves every day. It definitely helped me to have a strong season in 2014.

Revitalise Your Workout: Why not enter an event or race for February/March to have your own goal to aim for.

Warm up and cool down properly. This is so important in the colder months. Even athletes can get a bit lazy with warming up but it’s what gets your muscles loose and your body ready for a tough work out. I like dynamic stretching to warm up – holding each stretch for at least 6 seconds and then release and stretch again. Cooling down is just as important, I spend 10 minutes doing a light jog and then cycle for 15 minutes on the stationary bike. As a final touch, I massage in my Nelsons arnicare Arnica Cooling Gel to help revive tired limbs so that they are fresh for the next day of training.

Revitalise Your Workout: Have Nelsons arnicare Arnica Cooling Gel to rub in post workout or relax in the bath with Nelsons arnicare Arnica Bath & Massage Balm after a cold day.

Interval Training. For tennis players, I think interval training is important because you work intensely for short bursts but then have 15 seconds to recover between points and a bit longer in between games. To build my fitness levels, I go on the track and do several sets of sprints up the straights and then slowly jog round the corners. I do 5 laps of this a day. I also run two miles three times a week

Revitalise Your Workout: Incorporate 20 minutes of interval training into your exercise, try sprinting between the trees in the park or the lampposts on your street.

Muscle Building. I work on building muscle strength during the off season. My tip for this would be to choose the time of day that suits you best. For example, I never do heavy weight lifting in the morning if I am playing tennis in the afternoon. I always start with tennis and then keep lifting for the afternoon. Otherwise, my body becomes stiff from lifting weights and I am more likely to get an injury playing tennis.

Revitalise Your Workout: Do squats and weight when you get inside from a run. Try using cans of beans as weights to add some resistance. 

Have fun. Most importantly, try and make the training sessions fun. I do them with a hitting partner, which is usually my Dad or my brother. Yes, you have to be a serious professional but you also have to enjoy what you do. Lifting weights by yourself is boring so I like to do things with my team.

Revitalise Your Workout: Ask a friend to join you after work for some support and get fit together.

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