Ester Marsh column: How student-athletes can stay in shape over the summer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2022

Staying in shape as a student-athlete is up to you. School is out and now is the time to get healthier, stronger and faster. This is not only for our student-athletes, but it’s a great time for all students to get in a routine of regular exercising too.

The summer is a great time to get in even better shape. Even if you have a summer job (and there are plenty of jobs available), you can exercise around your work schedule.

A summer workout could look like something like this:

Try to run five days a week for at least 30 minutes. The better your cardiovascular health, the faster you get in game shape. If running is not for you, swimming and cycling are great too. Try to work out with weights at least two times a week. Have one day of rest in between. Work your full body. If you are working on strength and size, you need to go to at least six days a week but you do a “split” workout. Example:

Monday: chest and triceps; Tuesday: Back and biceps; Wednesday: legs, shoulders and core; repeat for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday is a day of rest. This way you work each body part twice in a week. For full body, pick two chest, two back, four leg, one shoulder, one bicep-, one triceps and two abs exercises and two lower back exercises.

For a split workout, pick five for the big muscle groups — chest, back and legs. Pick two for smaller muscle groups — shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs and lower back.

For the chest you can pick (lists are not limited to):

Bench press, incline press, decline press, dumbbell press flat bench, incline dumbbell press, decline dumbbell press, chest expanders (also called pullovers), cable crossovers, dumbbell flies flat bench, incline flies and decline flies.

For back, you can pick:

Dead lifts, lat pull wide grip to chest, lat pull reversed grip, lat pull “V” grip, chin-ups or assist chin up, cable row wide grip, cable row narrow grip, one arm dumbbell row, one arm cable pull and t-bar row.

For legs you can pick:

Squats, leg press, hack squat, thrusts, lunges, lunge squats, leg extensions, leg curls, knee ups, seated calf raises, standing calf raises, “donkey” raises, adductor, abductor and kick backs.

For shoulders you can pick:

Dumbbell shoulder press, side lateral raises, front lateral raises, bent over flies, barbell upright rowing, barbell military press, barbell shoulder press and shrugs.

For biceps you can pick:

Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, cable curls, seated concentration curls, standing concentration curls, hammer curls.

For triceps you can pick:

Reversed and shoulder width grip bench press, “skull crushers,” triceps rope push down, triceps bar push downs, one arm triceps kick backs, seated one arm overhead extensions, seated both arm overhead extensions.

For abs you can pick:

Sit-ups, crunches, obliques, leg raises, knee ups, wellness ball crunches, wellness ball obliques, reversed sit ups and sit up bench.

For lower back you can pick:

Prone (on stomach) leg lifts, prone arm lifts, back extensions, wellness ball extensions, plank (works total core).

At the YMCA, 10-12-year-olds may use the fitness center with the aid of a parent, or responsible adult, in eyesight and same area, and can use selectorized equipment and cardio equipment.

The 13-year-olds can use the fitness center without a parent after an orientation with a trainer and can use selectorized and cardio equipment.

Ages 14 and up may use entire fitness center without a parent upon successful completion of an orientation with a trainer. The summer is a great time to get into healthy habits that not only last a lifetime, but will get you “game” ready when school starts again!

Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA.