According to Merriam-Webster’s On-Line Dictionary, the definition of the Weekend Warrior is as follows: A person who participates in a usually physically strenuous activity only on weekends or part-time.

At Athlete’s Arena, we do a lot of work with weekend warriors; normal, everyday people who have full-time jobs but still thrive to stay as active as their schedules allow.  Many of these men and women are former athletes who want to get back to the “glory days” or those who want to participate in functional sport specific training to either improve their golf game or win their flag football championship.  We also get many adults who want to get away from the programs and routines they have repetitively performed over and over again and engage in a new style of training that was previously only made available to college and professional athletes.

Here are five tips for the weekend warrior to help them perform better and most important….STAY HEALTHY!!  You still have to go back to work on Monday!

Learn the Proper Warm Up:

As the oldest form of injury prevention, a proper warm up is an essential weapon in the Weekend Warriors arsenal!  A mentor of mine once said, “If you don’t have time to warm up, you don’t have time to workout,” and trust, this guy is smart!  The Proper Warm Up consists of, for example, a 5-10 minute stationary bike ride followed by a series of joint mobility and dynamic stretching exercises.

Learn to squat properly- Key word:PROPERLY!

Recent research has shown that the proper squat technique is actually safer on the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) than exercises such as leg extension or curls on machines.  The problem we face is that very few people have learned to squat properly. The proper squat is a great exercise to promote hip, knee and ankle health.

Get off the bench press:

If your back itches, you should be able to scratch it without using the corner of a door!  I am not saying to never bench press but rather to look into other exercises that promote proper shoulder mobility and stability and incorporate them into your program.  We incorporate various kettlebell exercises into the programs of Weekend Warriors to keep their shoulder “in the game” and those rotator cuff muscles healthy!

Training to failure is training to fail:

Maxing out in the weight room every time you lift or pushing as hard as you can when you go out with your buddies to run sprints will only lead to injury, pain and a short career as a Weekend Warrior. Learn to “keep some gas in the tank” when you train and cycle your workouts to incorporate light and medium training days to practice lifting technique and form.

Recovery and Regeneration:

Here is my best tip!  Learn how to care for your body by implementing the benefits of massage, proper pre and post- exercise nutrition, post workout stretching, incorporating the foam roller or the invigorating experience of hot / cold therapy.

Hopefully these tips help keep the Weekend Warrior in the fight and not back at home training for the next video game Olympics!</span></p>