Cold weather can really do a number on your workouts. If you are like many people, you may be tempted to just curl up at home and put your training into hibernation until next spring. You may be bored with the prospect of being stuck in the dojo or training hall waiting for warmer days. It doesn't have to be this way! With some determination and creativity, you can make the most out of your training in the cold weather months and start the summer months stronger, faster and more agile than ever.
Some Things To Remember:
Cold weather can do a number on your muscles and joints if you don't properly prepare and warm up before working out. When training outdoors, wear multiple layers of clothing. Go through a gentle warm up and stretching routine before getting into the heart of your workout
The first great feature of training in colder weather is that the danger of getting dangerously overheated is greatly reduced. During the summer months, it could be risky to do an intense outdoor regimen. Use days without snow to do some outdoor plyometrics, technique training and cardio exercises.
Cold Weather Training In A Field Or Park
Go to a park with a baseball, football or soccer field, or any wide open space with a relatively flat, even surface. Start off with a light jog around the field till you feel warm and your heart is pumping a bit. After you feel warm and loose, you are ready to start the heart of the workout.
* Ladder (Suicide) Sprints - Divide the field by length into either two or equal sections. Football fields make this easy since they are already marked off by yards. Stand at the far end of the field. Sprint as fast as you can to your first marker, touch the ground. Then sprint as fast as you can back to the start. Run to your next marker or to the very end, touch the ground, and run back to the beginning. That is considered one rep. Depending on your level of conditioning, aim for anywhere between 2 and 5 reps. This drill develops your cardiovascular endurance, leg strength, speed and agility. It is important to run these as fast as possible.
* Squat Jumps - Stand with your feet slightly apart. Bend your knees and squat down and jump explosively up. When your feet touch the ground, immediately squat down and then immediately jump up again. There should be no pause between these motions. Try to complete between 10 and 30 jumps. These should be done intensely, trying to jump as high as possible with each jump. These help develop explosive leg strength and train the fast twitch muscle fibers.
* Pushups or Jump Pushups - Hopefully, you don't mind getting your hands dirty. Do a set of 20 to 30 regular pushups, or for an added challenge , do a set of 20 jump pushups. Get in a normal pushup position. When you bend your elbows and go down towards the ground, instead of slowly pushing up, explode off the ground so that your hands leave the ground. As soon as your hands touch the ground again, lower down again. There should be no pause between the landing and the lowering portions of the exercise. These will help develop strength and explosive power in your chest, arms, upper back and shoulders.
* Walking Lunges - Stand at the end of the field. Start with your feel together. Take one large step forward, and lower into a lunge with both knees at 90 degree angles. The back knee should not touch the ground, but should be a couple inches from the ground. Rise up into a standing position by bringing your back foot forward. Repeat with the opposite leg. Continue doing the walking lunges either half way or all the way down the field, depending on your current conditioning. These help develop muscular endurance in the legs and also aid in developing stability and balance.
Use these exercises in conjunction with your normal martial arts technique routine.