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To Me, Boxing Is Like a Ballet, Except There's No Music, No Choreography, and the Dancers Hit Each Other.


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Lets talk sports.

As our society becomes more and more health conscious, there is a growing interest in physical activity. Basketball, softball and volleyball have been and still are very popular sports. There are some newer sports that are grabbing people's interest such as soccer and ice skating. Many sports that only drew men, are now drawing more women. Boxing and martial arts in general are opening doors to more women. As funding in schools for women's athletics increase, so are the numbers of women going into a variety of group sports. Societal attitudes toward women in sports are also changing. The standard of beauty is changing from the frail, helpless female image to the strong, independent woman. Both men and women may approach athletic games with serious, competitive motives. Though there are people who are motivated with the "winning-is-all " philosophy of sports, there are others who just want to have fun. Team sports are challenging and thrilling. Friendly competition can be a joyous experience, with the camaraderie of team mates. Socializing, joking and relating experiences can make a sport incredibly satisfying. Some team sports give your body an all around workout. Basketball, soccer and ice skating are wonderful for cardiovascular health and fitness, besides building up general body strength. Games like softball and volleyball tend to be less vigorous due to the standing around and waiting aspects of these sports. Athletes, competitive as well as fun-loving, have found weightlifting beneficial.

"In weight lifting, I don't think sudden, uncontrolled urination should automatically disqualify you."

Some people who come to the gym are competitive body builders. Many people have discovered that lifting can help them get into shape and enhance their chosen sport. Weightlifting can increase strength, improve performance and prevent injuries. Using techniques of muscle isolation can enhance parts of the body needing more strength and/or muscle definition. A beginning weightlifting program can also encourage you to participate in a sport you've always wanted to play in, but you didn't feel comfortable or strong enough.

"If you're a boxing referee, it's probably illegal to wear a bow tie that spins or changes colors."

After I had been lifting for six months, I felt I was strong enough to take up the sport of kickboxing. Kickboxing, along with lifting helped me develop a physical confidence and mental acuity. I also learned to enjoy its sporty aspects. I started seeing boxing as an art, a challenging fighting sport-dance. Sparring is extremely exciting and scary and a great tension releaser. I found that boxing three days a week took care of any aerobic exercises I might need. Workouts however, placed a certain amount of stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments. Joint areas were especially susceptible. Proper stretching beforehand is not only helpful, but essential to remaining flexible and limber. I also spend time stretching after a more intense boxing session. Boxers need complete body strength, endurance and balance. I discovered, that by pumpin g, I could strengthen my upper body. When I lift I work on exercises for the trapeziums, biceps, deltoids, pectorals (chest), triceps and latissimus dorsi(back). I do sets of shrugs, curls, raises (lateral, front and back), presses and cable pulls, dips and free form pull-ups and T-bar style rows respectively.

If your sport does not in and of itself build endurance, you should probably do some form of aerobic exercise at least three times a week. Most gyms provide stairmasters and stationary bicycles. Jumping rope, running in place (treadmills and Nordic Track track machines) or going for a good brisk walk will also give your body the stimulation it needs. Our heart muscle as well as our other muscles benefits from aerobics. Aerobic exercise strengthens our cardiovascular system. Always start slowly and work up to 30-45 minutes a session.

Stretching is a must for any sport. Using proper stretching techniques, will help you maintain flexibility and protect you from serious injury. Always keep in mind that stretching should be done with a relaxed attitude. Whereas lifting is using body resistance, acquiescence is the key to stretching. Stretching correctly will create supple muscles, prepare you for movement and help you when you go from inactivity to vigorous activity. Stretching is a non-competitive way to relax and feel good.

For almost any sport, a general strengthening program is a good idea. Some sports involve specific muscle groups and may require particular attention and isolation of a muscle group. Weightlifting is easily one of the most versatile sports. It is a good base for improvement in almost every sport. For instance:

BASEBALL

"I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around."

Players in different positions can use weightlifting to strengthen different parts of the body.

Pitchers need to do weight work on legs. Besides general flexibility pitchers need to emphasize shoulders and elbows.

Catchers, in addition to leg work, need hand and wrist strength. Weight work on the abdominal area is also a must.

Infielders and Outfielders, besides the leg flexibility and hand and wrist strength, can benefit from upper body weight strengthening.

Besides the necessity of muscle strength, players must aim at achieving proper muscle balance. A good weight program can provide both.

BASKETBALL

Basketball players need a full body program. Basketball players need the strength and power of boxers and the endurance of a woman in labor. Though basketball is an explosive sport, the athlete must not create joint problems. Lifting should be done light and time between sets should be cut. Moderation is the word of the day for players.

GOLF

"Do you know what happens when you slice a golf ball in half? Someone gets mad at you. I found this out the hard way."

Strength and flexibility go hand in hand in developing the muscles for playing golf. Exercises should emphasize rotary movements of trunk and forearms. Wrists should never be neglected. Using weight training for improvement of performance in golf is relatively new.

ICE SKATING (FIGURE AND HOCKEY)

"When you go ice-skating, try not to swing your arms too much, because it really annoys me."

Muscular endurance in legs, thighs and hips is a must for any skating activity. Due to some of the unnatural positions in skating lower back work is essential. Shoulder strengthening is important. For the hockey player chest work will help them command positions all over the ice. Abdominal work should also be done. This will cut down on injuries as well as create a stronger musculature.

SKIING (CROSS-COUNTRY)

"It's interesting to think that my ancestors used to live in the trees, like apes, until finally they got the nerve to head out onto the plains, where some were probably hit by cars."

Develop all major muscle groups and develop muscle balance. A general strength training program is your best bet. The training should duplicate your movement patterns, speed, load/resistance and working time period as you would if you were actually skiing.

SKIING (DOWNHILL)

"How come, just as the rocket is launching, the astronauts don't also shoot some fireworks out the window? It would make the whole takeoff look more impressive."

Downhill: Downhill skiing is awe inspiring. This is a high risk sport, therefore injury prevention is the main goal when using weight training. Optimal strength for legs, thighs, gluteals, hips, abdominals and lower back is essential. Boxing workouts can be quite valuable training techniques.

SOCCER

Goalkeepers need leg, thighs, upper body and shoulder strength.

Strikers and Stopper Backs, besides needing leg and thigh strength for jumping, should also emphasize neck strength for head balls.

Outside fullbacks, Wings and Midfielders should develop cardiovascular endurance as well as muscular strength in legs and thighs.

SWIMMING

"If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and your friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming."

Swimmers can use weight training for the explosive power and endurance needed in arm depressors, arm medial rotators, elbow extensors (mainly triceps),wrist flexors, leg and ankle extensors (for turns and starts), abdominals and back (for fixation of hips) and arm elevator muscles (shoulders). For the breaststroke work on leg adductors should be emphasized. Swimmers need strong arm rotators, an often neglected muscle group.

TENNIS

"Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.

Various strokes utilize different muscle activity. General strengthening of the obliques (muscles that require a lot of twisting) is essential. All shots require twisting. A strong lower back will benefit serving and overhead shots. For volleying weight strengthening of the forearms is a must.

VOLLEYBALL

The aim of weightlifting for volleyball should be to increase and maintain strength levels, to create muscle balance and to prevent injuries from intensive training.

Strengthening lower body is essential, but don't forget the abdominals and back for core muscle stability. Shoulder and arm weight work will decrease possibility of injury.

WRESTLING

"Whenever someone asks me to define love, I usually think for a minute, then I spin around and pin the guys arm behind his back. Now who's asking the questions?"

Strengthen all major muscle groups and develop muscle balance. Emphasize hips, thighs, neck and the pulling muscles.

There are very few sports that do not require a well-rounded strengthening and flexibility exercises.

FISHING

"Marta says the interesting thing about fly-fishing is that it's two lives connected by a thin strand. Come on, Marta. Grow up."

Sports, at its best, can help us work together in healthy constructive ways. Playing together can bring about mutual respect and love. The energy that comes from strong and relaxed bodies and minds working together will help us accomplish the important work of the world.


Good reference book: Getting Stronger- by Bill Pearl and Gary T. Moran Ph.D.
Thank you again: Deep Thoughts
For more spirituality talk please feel free to contact me:

gypsy@dreamagic.com (Gypsy)


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