Sunday, April 18, 2021
Home Sports Athletes Resort to At Home Workouts to Stay Fit While Social Distancing

Athletes Resort to At Home Workouts to Stay Fit While Social Distancing

With gyms closing to adhere to the proper health precautions regarding COVID-19, people have been forced to adapt their workouts to take place in the comfort of their own homes. Despite team sports being paused to be in line with social distancing guidelines and safety protocols, athletes have continued to practice their workouts independently. 

Although the UCI Division I student-athletes on campus have been able to access the weight rooms on campus, students that participate in club sports do not have that luxury and have to seek other methods to stay in shape. 

Some teams have configured solo workouts that model the usual team workouts. This allows members to maintain a team-like atmosphere by knowing that everyone else participates in the same drills. Other teams have been more lenient with their approach, allowing members to be creative and complete their own workouts.

Two club sports athletes that have embarked on this home workout journey are Jose Corpus on the Men’s Club Basketball team and Haley Mackay on Women’s Club Rowing.

For Corpus, he has tried to incorporate his own ideas that mimic an overall team workout.

“I’d say home workouts were more weight [and] strength-based like bench presses, squats etc,” Corpus said. “While working out in practices, it’s more running and cardio and technique.”

Consequently, Corpus has focused primarily on weight training to maintain his strength rather than the cardio usually implemented in the previous in-person team workouts.

Although these teams have been attempting to keep up with the strength training they would’ve been doing together if the COVID-19 pandemic had not hit, there are workouts that members simply cannot do on their own.

“[We can’t do] passing drills like three-man weave and other team specific ones,” Corpus said. 

The lack of ability to practice team drills like this is not ideal for teams that are heavily reliant on teamwork and team chemistry. However, for some, team drills like this can be easily altered to complete alone at home like Mackay. 

“Our workouts have been pretty similar aside from no rowing/erging as a team,” Mackay said. “We have a schedule each week that includes individual at-home workouts. These usually include cardio for building endurance and stamina through running/erging/biking and then strength training to increase arm/leg/core muscle off the water.” 

For the rowing team, members have a set workout routine for each week including four main sections: erg workout, abs, metcon and a stair workout. 

First, rowing members must complete an erg workout, which is a stationary rowing machine to help build up muscle and familiarity for rowing on water. The first 10 minutes of the rowing machine is broken up into different rates at a few minutes each beginning at rate 18 (strokes per minute) for four minutes and ending strong at rate 24 for the last minute. After a 3 minute rest period, athletes must complete 5 more minutes of rowing, ending at the opening rate for the last minute. 

Next, “Absanity” focuses on core strengthening. This includes 11 separate abdominal exercises. For two one minute sets, each member must complete exercises that include planks, crunches and bicycles before moving on to “Metcon.”

“Metcon” workouts focus on both core and cardio. This section includes three exercises — burpees, air squats and Russian twists. Athletes must complete a certain amount of exercises within a minute and then repeat for 10 minutes. With the progression of each practice, the team increases this section by 10 minutes until they reach 30 minutes. 

Finally, the team ends their routine with a stair workout including three rounds of guided stair-stepping. This last section includes exercises such as step taps, step squats, step jumps and calf raises. 

Despite the lack of team practices, it is evident that athletes are doing their best to keep up with their sports. Club sports athletes have taken it upon themselves to keep in shape and use this time as strength training during the off-season. While some teams are more rigid with their workout routine, it is obvious that team sports are still challenging their players regardless of the lack of practice. 

Gina Johnson is a Sports Intern for the 2020 Fall Quarter. She can be reached at ginaj@uci.edu.