How to get fit for Netball
The quickest and best way to get fit for netball is by using a combination of lifting weights and Fartlek/interval training. Netball is a very stop and start sport so there is little point training by running at the same speed for 30 minutes as you would never run at the same speed for 30 minutes in a netball game.
Lifting weights, whether in the gym or wherever you can find the space, time and suitable weights (which do not have to be traditional dumb bells) is a great way to burn fat and improve strength. Resistance or weight lifting combined with cardio- vascular training is the best way to lift your fitness ready for netball.
Fartlek training can be as hard or as easy as you like, but basically it involves changing the speed at which you train. Fartlek can be done anywhere which is safe outside or securely in the gym. If you are on a treadmill do have the incline on 1 or 2 to replicate the effects of running outside.
The current recommendation for aerobic fitness particularly for netball is:
Recommendation for aerobic fitness
Maintaining Health Improving Fitness
Frequency 5 time per week 3 time per week
Intensity Moderate Vigorous
Times more than 30 minutes more than 20 minutes
Type Rhythmical movement of large muscles
Warm up – You should always warm up before exercise. The aim of warming up is to raise the body temperature and heart rate by using all muscle groups in a controlled rhythmical activity. Netballpost.com recommends using a bike, running or rower for at least 5 minutes followed by whole body stretching see (http://www.netfit.co.uk).
Cool Down – this is simply helping your body to return to a normal relaxed state. This is normally achieved by static stretching. Stretches should be held for at least 15 seconds on each major muscle group. See www.wellnessletter.com
Fartlek or Interval training
Fartlek training is a great way to exercise as in netballpost.com’s mind it is not boring as you are continually changing your speed. You can do interval training on a bike, running or on a rowing machine or anything that changes speed. Spin classes in a gym are a controlled way to interval train where you may work harder as you are in class.
By exercising using interval training you will be chasing the minute when you can change your speed and therefore adding variety to your exercise. Initially start Fartlek/interval training for 20 minutes. You will soon be able to extend the time for longer as you will be amazed how quickly you improve. Start with a 1 minute walk, a 1 minute jog then 1 minute sprint. As time goes on you can always work harder so your rest time becomes less.
You need to remember a few things when lifting weights.
You must promote muscular balance across your body as muscles work in matching opposites. For example, if you work your biceps then make sure you also work your triceps. If you don’t work your muscles in pairs, you can get muscle imbalances which can cause injury and badly affect your posture.
Train your larger muscles first, as this allows you to get a better workout as the larger muscles use more energy to train effectively.
Perform more complex weight lifting exercises first. Exercises that require you to use more than one joint of your body should be completed first as they also require lots of energy and co-ordination. Better to do larger muscles and multi joint lifting first when you are fresh and have lots of energy.
The human body is an amazing thing and it adapts very quickly, so remember to change your training and don’t do the same weight lifting exercise for too long. Make sure you vary things like the number of sets, muscles worked and recovery periods between sets.
If you are in a gym ask the gym instructors to show you how to use a Swiss ball or Fit ball to lift free weights. As shown in this photograph.
Remember, if you use weights properly you will increase your fitness and strength. You will not look like a muscle bound body builder if you use weights properly alongside a good cardio vascular based exercise such as netball.