Whether you’re heading to a high school game tonight, a college game on Saturday or a Sunday NFL match-up, chances are you could use a pregame workout to keep the soda and beer calories in check. Gold’s Gym teamed up with celebrity trainer Mike Ryan to create a Tailgate Training Camp. This workout addresses the four most common tailgate injuries you’re likely to encounter, along with solutions on how to avoid them.
INJURY: Cooler Cramps
PRE-GAME EXERCISE: Standing Arm and Preacher Curls
To avoid breaking your back this season carrying that heavy cooler, Ryan suggests pumping up your pipes and taking the pressure off of your back with a mix of bicep exercises including standing arm and preacher curls. To get started, Ryan recommends 3-4 sets of each exercise with 10-12 reps using a weight that challenges you to muscle failure. As an added bonus, you’ll look even better sporting your favorite team’s jersey.
INJURY: Flipping Fatigue
PRE-GAME EXERCISE: Barbell Wrist Curls
Flipping endless burgers and hot dogs isn’t just mentally exhausting; it’s also draining on your forearms. To pre-empt the dreaded “flipping fatigue” while manning the tailgate grill, flex those forearms weekly with some barbell wrist curls. Ryan suggests shooting for 4 sets of 15 reps, twice a week. Just remember, practice makes perfect when preparing for a grueling grilling session.
INJURY: Second String Hamstring
PRE-GAME EXERCISE: Weighted Walking Lunges
Those tickets you thought were “top notch” are more likely than not in the nosebleed section. To combat the climb, Ryan suggests adding weighted walking lunges into your routine twice a week, aiming for 3 sets of 15 lunges (per side) to bulk up your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Not only will this give you limbs to make any linebacker proud, but it will also save you the embarrassment of pulling a hamstring next time you tackle those stairs.
INJURY: Stadium Sprint Splints
PRE-GAME EXERCISE: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Whether you’re racing to the gate to avoid missing the kick-off, or trying to avoid the shame after your team’s crushing defeat, going full speed after months of inactivity can lead to nasty shin splints. To ensure you’re not sidelined following your race to the gates, set aside 30 minutes a day for high intensity interval training. When starting off, Ryan suggests going slow – alternating between 2-3 minute walks and 1 minute of a challenging speed on either a treadmill or outdoors. Also, ensure you’re getting off on the right foot by investing in proper footwear.