Many athletes, maybe you, have taken off nearly a year of doing any training beyond a few home workouts and maybe some running. With news of pick up, summer league, club, and pro leagues starting up in the coming months, it’s a good idea to get your body back up to speed.
Remember, ultimate is one of the most physically demanding sports to be played - at least that’s what we tell all of our non-ultimate friends, right? During a normal year orthopedic doctors and physical therapists have their doors lined up with ultimate players.
That could significantly increase with a bunch of people who have been chilling at home for a year straight jumping into playing ultimate. Meaning, a lot of knee, ankle, hamstring, shoulder, etc injuries!
At minimum, some really bad looking ultimate. Yes, rustiness. But also from being tired and how bad play can get when we get tired. It’d be like watching a basketball game with a score of 25-19 in the 4th quarter.
I don’t want you to be one of those people.
And, someone’s gotta be healthy enough to help the injured folks off the field.
I’m in pretty good shape - lifting weights & cardio wise at least - and I still felt all of that cutting in my knees once I started back up doing ultimate training. I’m also admittedly getting a bit close to 30. Months, not years, mind you. That kinda stress is a bit more noticeable.
So, how can you get your body up to par to handle playing ultimate without ending up on an injury quarantine, or at least not make much of a fool of yourself?
- Start Running.
Playing good ultimate is done fast. And repetitively. Here are 3 types of runs you should be incorporating:
A] Short, hard accelerations - making cuts involves bursts of speed. Making bursts of speed for 1-3 hours is quite demanding, they are basically like doing a bunch of heavy deadlifts. You should train for them.
- Do 15-20 of these over 10-30m
B] Repeating tempo sprints - ultimate involves a lot of start and stop running. Doing repeat runs is good for you to get fit for all of the repeated runs. The goal of this is to increase how fast you can recover. Basically a type of cardio
-Do 8-15 runs of 100-400m with a short rest of 1-4min. The faster, the more rest.
C] Cardiovascular Endurance - now I know the newer trend in ultimate training is all tempo and no long runs but that’s a bit misguided. Yes, tempo runs are a type of cardio, and should make up much of your conditioning. But the aerobic changes at a biochemical level are somewhat different. Basically, long slow cardio gives you more potential for the tempos to be effective. I’ll spare you the long version, but these are good as a recovery from hard training and getting you ready for harder tempo runs.
-Do a 1-3mi run or even tempo variations 1-2x a week
- Move Heavy Things.
Being stronger will make running, jumping, and cutting much easier on the body. Also, it will allow you to do them all better.
A] Squat, lunge, hinge, push, and pull
B] Complete 30-50 repetitions in across 2-4 sets
C] Slow reps of 3-5 seconds can help build a lot of resilience in your muscles, tendons, fascia, and ligaments (soft tissue). You don’t need to go very heavy if you’re just getting started
- Work on Stopping, Jumping, and Cutting.
All of that can still fall short if you don’t practice the fundamental actions of ultimate which is stopping, jumping, and cutting. Your soft tissue needs to get acclimated to the intense nature of these movements. Without worrying about chasing a shifty player on universe point your first game back.
A] Sprint 5-10m. Stop. On a Dime. Do this. A lot.
B] Practice cutting at different angles. Start slow and get the form good.
C] Practice jumping in every direction, and various angles, on 2 legs and 1 leg.
Of course make sure to get throws in, practice catching discs, and as a bonus, core work with a lot of rotational and anti rotation exercises (Google it)
- Come Train with Us!
Of course this is what we do! We can help you with creating a plan to get prepared if you don’t want to figure all of that out. GHP is open for in person strength training, on the track coaching, remote online programming, and daily live video workouts.
We can create a Performance Report for you highlighting how you should be training via our Success Strategy Video Call.
I hope that helps serve as a guide for how to get your body back in operational shape for the eventual return of ultimate. Remember, being really out of shape and out of practice can greatly increase your chances of injury.
If you have any questions or want some quick info you can shoot me an email reply.