Shoulder Season Sucks…or Not?

Shoulder Season Sucks…or Not?

By Rad Dad and Fitness Expert \ April 8 2019


We all have our preferences on seasons. Snow vs. Sun. Ski vs. Bike. It’s hard to choose sometimes and when this time of year rolls around we can get antsy. Well…maybe not as much this year with such epic spring skiing and continued storms, but you get the point. Plus, I’m guilty of a trip to Moab already and enjoying some time on two wheels. 

Shoulder season is generally when we all anxiously await the arrival of our next favorite activity. With the shift of seasons, it can be difficult in mountain weather. It’s unpredictable. One day you are slaying spring pow, and the next you make the break to find dry trails in the valley or further south. Instead of dreading the shoulder season this year how about we take a different approach that can both increase our fitness and maybe even find some new passion.

Our fitness doesn’t have to be the same old routine that you do in the gym between seasons or the activities you do in peak season. Part of your fitness can be improved by learning and playing new sports. This is my challenge to you over the next few months as we make the shift in seasons.  

Find a new sport, and learn it.
There is so much that can be gained here. Many of us get stuck in the rut of the same movements and activities. Truthfully we can become pretty one dimensional. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean we may be missing out on other areas of our fitness that can make us a more well-rounded athlete/person. The last blog post talked about how variance helps provide the well-rounded athlete…variance can also come in the form of sport. Here are some things you can check out as you make the move into the next season.

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Weightlifting:

Yep, I said it. I’m not just talking about the typical powerlifting routines that you can find in the plethora of fitness magazines out there. I’m talking about Olympic lifting. These are some of the most technical lifts in the world. They demand both strength and the ability to produce power, require much more mobility than many would think, and can be one heck of a good time if you have a good coach to keep a watchful eye on you.  


They can be frustrating to learn at times but don’t let this keep you from looking into it. The benefits are both neurological (what’s going on between your ears), and physical. It’s not your average mindless lifting routine. They will help you develop coordination, balance, and accuracy on the neurological side of things.  Strength, speed and power on the physical.


Slack Lining:
I tried it. I suck at it. Which means I should do it more. You can set this up in your yard and get plenty of benefit with balance and proprioception (fancy way of saying you know where your body is in space.). I can also imagine it being pretty fun once you get the hang of it.  



Bouldering:

For some, this is already an activity that you are passionate about. For others the idea of climbing is a no go with the fear of heights. Bouldering can be a great option for you since it’s generally low. It can be done both in and outdoors, and the overall cost to get into it is minimal. Bodyweight strength and mobility are a few of the benefits you can see along with improved grip strength. Plus, it can be a great activity to do with a group of friends.  


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Spikeball:
This, is, hard!  It’s also a blast. You can grab all you need off Amazon and get started with some friends. Agility, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness are all part of the game. Along with some serious conditioning if you really get after it.  


These are all a bit less traditional but you can get the idea here. The goal is to find something that piques your interest and creates some excitement. For some, this will be more traditional. Getting into running or doing a 5k for the first time. For others, it’s going to take some creativity but the options are endless. Here’s what you gain out of it:

1. You won’t get stuck it the rut like most people do in shoulder season.

2. When you are learning a new sport it can be difficult but it often doesn’t take up a ton of our time if we choose wisely. This means you can still do all the regular activities or training pieces you like (mountian biking, golf, hiking, trail running etc.). Adding in some of these new sports in as a warm up, cool down, or weekly activity is simple and effective.

3. Your fitness will improve. You may not notice it right away but taking the time to do things like this will automatically fill in gaps/holes you may have in your fitness. You may find yourself a bit more sore than you expected the next day too which isn’t all that bad.

4. You may just find a new passion.  


Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to learn how to do a manual on a bike. Even though it’s not a full blown sport it’s been a fun and challenging venture. It’s finally starting to be a bit rewarding as well…but still humbling. It’s been a great way to warm up for other workouts or just get some time outside of traditional activities and clear my head.  

Now it's time for you to do the same. Share it with me here in the comments and let me know what sport you think you’re going to pick up this shoulder season.

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