Welcome to my monthly Q/A for all things curling and fitness. I get a few frequently asked questions, and I hope I can begin to compile a list to get some more information out there.
This months article includes:
- “Are there any ‘must have’s’ for curlers in their workout routine?”
- “What’s a way you can get your arm muscles up to help sweeping”
- “Do you do the same workouts during the off season and during the curling season”
- “How can I be as awesome as you?”
- “How do you outfit your broom for dryland sweeping?” & “How do you outfit your broom for dryland sweeping?”
- @m_idz asks: “Are there any ‘must have’s’ for curlers in their workout routine?”
Every program I create includes
- a solid & consistent warm up,
- movements performed in all 4 planes of movement,
- exercises consistent with their short & long term goals,
- and progressive strength & conditioning appropriate for the time of year.
I am a big fan of spending time creating a solid foundation of strength, endurance and proper/efficient movement.
Curlers should focus on:
- Mobility work —improve function around the hip and shoulder joints
- Lower body stability & strength —Split squats, step ups, single leg deadlifts, trap bar deadlifts, etc.
- Core stability —Planks, side planks, resisted rotation, created rotations, etc.
- Upper body stability & strength —Chin-ups (preferably palms facing in), & pushups (both show the health of your upper body, & your ability to coordinate your upper and lower body), various rowing exercises
- Interval training —Completed following building a solid aerobic base. Various intervals done to improve capacity for work at high intensities, and ability to recover between bouts.
- 8-10 rounds of 40 seconds work, 40 seconds rest
- 8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest (a true tabata)
- 8-10 rounds of 25 seconds work, 50 seconds rest
- @brooke_lynne13 asks: “What’s a way you can get your arm muscles up to help sweeping”
I wrote an article a bit ago that addresses my 4 favourite exercises for powerful sweeping, I suggest starting there.
The short and long answer is to
- balance both bilateral (double arm)
- and unilateral (single arm) work throughout your training.
- Master the push motion,
- and the pull motion
- in both the horizontal and vertical directions.
- Keep it simple. Pick 2 or 3 main upper body exercises for you to focus getting really good and strong at, and use the other exercises as supporting actors in your sweeping muscle play.
Ex. Chest press, incline press, pushups, lat pull down, chin-up, rows (of many kinds), bicep curls, tricep extensions, and deltoid raises, etc.
All of these exercises can be done with bands, cables, dumbbells, barbells, or even bodyweight.
You can also become a stronger sweeper by sweeping. Spend time working on form with dryland sweeping (see below), or on ice.
- @jaskerr6 asks: “Do you do the same workouts during the off season and during the curling season”
Check out Part 2 of the following article.
Technically yes, you can do the same workouts off-season and in-season. The difference would be in
- a decrease in volume of training;
- decrease in number and/or length of sessions,
- decrease in number of sets & reps,
- increase in rest time
- and an increase/maintenance of intensity.
You may have spent the off-season perfecting your form, and getting your body used to certain exercises, stressors and weights. This will benefit you as repeating workouts you became familiar with in the off-season will decrease the chance of soreness that can negatively affect your on-ice performance.
With less volume, working out at high intensities help keep you in game form, let you practice your mental training strategies, and provide that extra bit of challenge or competitiveness that can fuel your on-ice performance.
In-season a trick I love is combining on-ice and off-ice training. Include mobility, stability and core activation exercises to your warm ups, and some power moves to your practices for an added bonus.
The off-season is the ideal time to improve movement efficeincy, strength, endurance and power. Make it a goal to maintain as much strength and balance in your body as possible during the season.
- @dave_wilkins.rmt asks: “How can I be as awesome as you?”
- Drink lots of coffee –preferably good coffee, maybe even with some added lions mane or reishi,
- Pack the most amount of activities in every single day from before the sun rises, to before the sun sets…dedicate a lot of time to helping & working with others and learning.
- Eat a variety of nutritious food regularly (bonus points for meal prep, and packing your meals the night before)
- Move, a lot! Whenever you get a chance
- Drink more coffee & laugh along to how great or ridiculous life can be!
- @m_idz asks: “How do you outfit your broom for dryland sweeping?”
& @jaskerr6 asks: “What did you put on top of your broom? Is that a sock?”
Answer to both: Check out my article specifically outlining Dryland Sweeping
Thank you for spending the time to follow along, read my articles, watch my videos, and of course, ask questions! May you have a healthy and happy start to your curling season!
Stephanie Thompson, HBA.Kin, B.Ed, CSEP-CPT, OCT, NCCP
WORK HARD HURRY HARD PLAY HARD
Stephanie Thompson is a former student-athlete at Western University and is a certified fitness trainer who plays on the WCT Women's tour. This article, -October – Monthly Q/A – Fitness + Curling – was originally published on on her blog, Personal Training with Stephanie Thompson, and is re-published here with permission.