Roll It Out, Girl!

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Membership, Personal Training, Uncategorized, Youth

Roll It Out, Girl!!

What is this foam roller thing?  It is amazing, that’s what it is!  Foam rolling, sometimes called self- myofascial release, is an extremely effective way of preventing injury, promoting muscle recovery, and relieving muscle soreness and tightness.  Whether a person is sitting in a desk all day or running their 4th marathon; anyone can benefit from this device daily!  Below is a list of all the amazing reasons why everyone needs a foam roller in their life.

  • Increased blood flow to that muscle! Foam rolling exercises stretches and loosens the muscles.
  • Improved movements. When a muscle is better hydrated, looser muscles move past one another with less knee friction.
  • Better range of motion for muscles. Especially beneficial for people recovering from knee, back, or hip surgeries.
  • Decreased injury risk. When there is a tight muscle lacking full range of motion, a person is more at risk for injury.  By foam rolling, oxygen and blood are forced into that muscle, ultimately reducing the risk for a tear, break, or strain of a muscle or bone.
  • Decreased recovery time! By foam rolling before and/or after a workout, oxygen is more readily available to the muscle.  This reduces recovery time and soreness that happens after a tough workout.

Courts Plus will be offering 15 minute foam roll classes throughout the week!  There is no wrong way of rolling!  A great way to relax and prevent those injuries!   All of the foam rolling classes will follow a class already on the schedule.  Check out the schedule online and make sure to try this class out!!

You cannot be serious!

By | Tennis

Tennis is a sport with many psychological challenges. The unique scoring system constantly builds up to pressure points where one player is poised to take all, the other to lose all. Matches have no time limit, and can last for many hours. In singles, players are alone, usually without access to a coach.

No wonder so many players end up losing their temper, often in spectacular fashion.

By studying player tantrums we can learn a great deal that can help us improve our psychological approach to tennis, or indeed any sport.

Here are five classic tantrums, each one with a distinct lesson to teach us.

5) Grigor Dimitrov, Istanbul 2016

Dubbed ‘Baby Fed’, Dimitrov was once talked of as a successor to Roger Federer, but no longer. Despite reaching a career-high ranking of eighth and the Wimbledon semifinal in 2014, the Bulgarian has struggled to compete with the game’s elite, and has not yet been able to translate his rare talent into consistent world-class form.

Few players have been hyped by the media as much as Dimitrov. The pressures of expectation, coupled with low-confidence, seem to have led the 25-year old to his recent implosion in the final of the Istanbul Open. Dimitrov forfeited the match after smashing three rackets, handing the title to his opponent Diego Schwartzman.

Dimitrov has never sought help from a tennis psychologist, which suggests that he underestimates the value of the mental game. He needs to learn how to disengage from his thoughts and emotions, and focus on the task in hand. If he does this, he has the talent to get back to the top ten and stay there.

Lesson: The expectations of others can be a mental burden on court. We need to learn how to allow our difficult thoughts and emotions to be there without engaging with them.

4) Roger Federer, Miami 2009

Roger Federer is the epitome of a cool, calm and collected champion, but it wasn’t always this way. In his early years on tour, the Swiss maestro expressed a hot temper on court, with his racket often bearing the brunt of his anger.

In 2001, knowing his emotions were holding back his game, Federer worked hard on improving his mental approach. This paid off handsomely, as Fed began his meteoric rise to the top soon after.

Rarely since have we seen Roger lose his temper. However in this clip from his 2009 match against Novak Djokovic in Miami, the Swiss’ temper burned bright one more time following a string of forehand errors.

This proved a one-off lapse, and Roger has maintained his trademark composure ever since. We should take comfort in the fact the one of the greatest of all time can have a serious mental off-day. It reminds us that none of us can be perfect.

Lesson: Even players who have exemplary mental skills can have lapses. That’s fine, as long as we reconnect quickly with a successful mental approach. Forgive yourself if you lose your temper, and move on.

3) Carlos Berlocq – Aix en Provence 2016

This extraordinary incident, in which Berlocq smashes his racket on just the second point of the match, indicates that the Argentinian wasn’t in a good mental state when he stepped onto the court.

There will always be off-court stresses in our lives, and sometimes we can’t help it if thoughts and emotions which have nothing to do with tennis interfere with our game.

The trick is to learn how to let go of those feelings. Let them be there, don’t engage.

Lesson: We always bring some sort of emotion onto court with us. When those emotions are negative, we need to learn to let go of engagement with them, or they are liable to lead us to perform poorly.

2) John McEnroe, Australian Open 1990

McEnroe may be the king of the tennis tantrum, but he’s also an honest and insightful judge of his own behavior. In his autobiography Serious, McEnroe says that his struggle with on-court anger hindered his progression as a player. His temper disrupted his rhythm, and often indicated he was on the verge of choking. He sees his anger as a response to nerves and a fear of failure. Brilliant as he was, McEnroe would have been a better player if he had been mentally stronger.

He never won the Australian Open. A series of warnings for bad behavior led to his disqualification from this fourth round match in 1990.

Lesson: Tantrums are self-destructive. To maximize your potential as a player, you have to develop a strong mental game.

1) David Nalbandian, London 2012

Nalbandian will be remembered as one of the best players never to win a Slam. He’ll also be remembered for his fiery temper, and in particular for his outburst in the 2012 Queens final which cost him the match. A momentary burst of anger led Nalbandian to kick an advertising board which struck a linesman in the leg hard enough to draw blood. Game over. Instant disqualification.

Of course injuring the linesman wasn’t intentional, but Nalbandian’s inability to tolerate and let go of his anger handed a winnable final to his opponent and landed him with a $12,560 fine.

Lesson: Anger can arise quickly during a match if we make a mistake or lose an important point. We need to learn how to allow anger to be there without responding to it.

Its not only your strokes that we can help you with at Courts Plus, it’s your entire game, including the most important part, the mental part. There’s a reason why people say tennis is 90% mental and 10% physical. All of the top players can execute their shots in practice, but only a few can do it when it really matters and stay calm under pressure. Schedule a lesson time today, before you end up on this list!

 

The Benefits of Using the Child Care to Help YOU “Unplug.”

By | Fitness Fun, Membership, Youth

Have you ever just wanted a quick break away from your kids to relax, reboot and re-energize yourself, ALONE?! If so, the Courts Plus Child Care is the perfect solution!

I cannot tell you how many “thank you’s” I have received from parents for having this amenity here at Courts Plus! It is not that we all do not love our kids, but sometimes we just need that little break and honestly, so do they. At Courts Plus we offer a maximum of a 2 hour visit per day where you can go work out inside or outside of Courts Plus, go to a Group exercise class, play tennis, pickleball, racquetball, go into the gym, read the newspaper, or just simply sit on the sofa by the fireplace and do absolutely nothing! Our members have done it all! Heck, we even have parents who work from home that use the two hours to actually work and that is just fine too! Not only do the parents love this break, but the kids are constantly busy, creating friendships, socializing and learning on a daily basis. It’s a win-win! If this has not persuaded you enough, here are a few more benefits of “unplugging,”

  1. It gets you out the door- This may seem small, but if you are a parent, you understand and I know I hear it often! It is hard to get the kids out of the door in a timely fashion. If you can get them fed, dressed and ready for the day, all while getting out, it is a huge game changer for many parents!
  2. Socialize with other moms/dads- We have many parents here at Courts Plus who have created lifelong friendships with other parents because of the child care. It is a great way to meet other families with kids who are close in age with theirs.
  3. Motivation- Simply said, many of us need a motivator and we have plenty of personal trainers, members and employees who will gladly help out!
  4. The kids get to socialize with other children their own age- The child care holds a maximum of 20 kids at a time. That gives the children many opportunities to socialize with one another.
  5. Creativity- In this type of child care, we simply cannot plan out the childrens day with members constantly coming and going, however, we have endless of activities for the children to do whether that be art crafts, reading, playing dress up, building puzzles, blocks, tracks, running around the track, playing in the gym, utilizing the playgrounds, coloring, you name it!
  6. Increase Energy & reduces stress- exercise promotes increased energy and while you are doing that, your kids are in a different room having their own kind of fun which helps reduce a parents overall stress for those two hours.
  7. Taking a shower in peace- This may sound silly, but I do have parents who will bring their child in solely to take a shower and get ready in peace. You do not realize how special and valuable this is until you have children. It is a huge perk.
  8. Indoor & outdoor play area available!- This amenity is mainly just an example for Courts Plus, but it is a huge benefit for the kids and you! We have an indoor 7 level playground as well as a new outdoor fenced in play area available for the child care kiddos to use for free while in the child care.
  9. 2 for 1- your membership pays for both your gym time as well as a “sitter” for the kids. If you add that up, that is a huge savings!

I hope this article has proven to you how important that alone time is and you feel confident in giving the Courts Plus Child Care a try!

** On a side note: We are seeking a fun, loving, and caring candidate who wants to make a difference in a child’s life. We are looking for someone who is available in the MORNINGS from about 8am-2pm or 9am-3pm who has the ability and flexibility to work with children between the ages of 6 weeks and 8 years of age. Daily attendance, being punctual and responsible is a requirement. First Aid and CPR certified is preferred but not required to get the job. If you are interested in applying, please do so at our website!

Thank you!

Yeah Pickleball!

By | Fitness Fun

This past summer a group of friends and I were bored on a Saturday afternoon. Looking for something to do I suggested we go to Brunsdale Park and play some pickleball. I had recently become the pickleball pro at Courts Plus, and thus had a lot of pickleball paddles and balls laying around. Most of my group of friends were tennis players, but had limited knowledge of how to play pickleball, so luckily Brunsdale posts the rules on every court so we were able to all stay on the same page. It was a great use of an afternoon as we played a little round robin tournament, I had the deck stacked in my favor, given my experience, but I messed around to keep things interesting which meant we played a lot of interesting points filled with lobs, dinks, and round the post shots. We still talk about a point we had, that must have been 40 shots and included every shot in the book, that culminated with an overhead smash that hit the tape and rolled over the net. Points and games like we had that afternoon are why we play sports, the feeling of pure adrenaline when things get thrown into chaos. Unfortunately as the weather changes there are fewer and fewer days to be able to play pickleball outside. Thankfully, starting September 10th, Courts Plus will offer leagues and lessons on true court surface (instead of a gym floor!) so we can all continue the fun that we had this summer. See you on the court and click here to find out more info.

Exercise and Arthritis

By | Fitness Fun, Personal Training

By: Brit Ingersoll- Arthritis Foundation Development Director of North Dakota

Exercise is crucial if you have arthritis. But knowing just how much activity and what activity to do when you’re hurting can be tricky. (***Always consult your physician when starting a new exercise program.) Exercise is great for joint function, mood boost and overall health! How can you modify your favorite activities for days that are a little more of a struggle than others? What type of activities are beneficial for arthritis?
Everyone has days that are harder to get out of bed than others but living with Arthritis you really need to listen to your body. If you are in a middle of a flare or recovering from a joint surgery, do keep moving but modification is key. Here are a few tips:
• Start with a warm up. If a longer and slower warm up are needed, Do It!
• Pick Low Impact Machines at the Gym. Elliptical or recumbent bikes are great choices.
• Work out large muscle groups.
• When in doubt: Walk.
• Decrease your workout time. Slow it down and just keep moving.
• Ask a professional. Great time to pick a trainer to help you stay safe and moving.
When you are ready and wanting to find an activity, look for an activity with low impact on joints. Swimming, Yoga, Walking Groups, and Biking are my favorites! The great thing about all of these activities is they can be modified when you are having a tougher day or intensified for days when you are feeling awesome! Small aches and pains are normal; however, sharp onset of pain is not. If you feel sharp pain, STOP what you are doing and evaluate yourself.
Arthritis can hit at any age from a ten year old struggling to keep up with classmates in gym, a thirty year old mom struggling to dress herself and kids, to grandparents struggling to get up the stairs. You are not alone there are over 52 million Americans suffering with Arthritis. From Lupus, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis and many more! Know that the Arthritis Foundation family is always here to help you in your journey.

www.arthritis.org

Keep moving and listen to your body it will thank you!

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Difference between training and running shoes

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Personal Training, Tennis

Now that summer is in full swing, chances are high that you’ve been spending a lot more time outdoors than usual. If you’re like my family, some days the great outdoors is just too hot or too humid to play comfortably in, and we’d rather get our sweat session on with some lovely air conditioning behind us!

Regardless if you have been spending most of your summer exercising indoors or outdoors, we cannot overestimate the importance of dressing appropriately for your workout. Sometimes the right attire — clothing and shoes that fit your body well and that respond adequately to your body’s needs while exercising — can be the difference between an exercise that actually transpires and one that you put off for “tomorrow,” if you catch my drift.

In particular, I want to spend just a little bit of time elucidating the difference between running shoes and training shoes and help you decide what should be on your feet this summer. I’ll describe the differences between these two types of footwear below.

 

Running shoes

Perhaps this goes without saying, but if you’ll be spending most of your exercise time actually running — or jogging, or walk-jogging, or jog-walking — you should likely be wearing running shoes. Running seems to be enjoying a huge boost in popularity right now, which is great for you, as a consumer, insomuch that it means you have choices.

The most important detail to remember when you’re on the hunt for running shoes is to search for shoes that fit your feet well and that respond well to your stride and gait. So many runners often go to a running store — or simply go online, hoping for the best — and pick out a shoe based on its appearance. This couldn’t be more detrimental!

Instead, take the time to go to a specialty running store in your community, one that is presumably staffed by avid runners who have been trained to professionally fit people for running shoes that are good for their body. By going to a local store, not only will you be supporting local business — which is good for the soul — but more importantly, someone who has a lot of experience in the business will be able to watch you run and help assess and determine which type of shoe would be best for you.

Be sure to share with the shoe fitter what type of running you plan to be doing — lots of long, slow mileage each week; trail running; all-out sprints on the track; or some combination therein — because that can also determine which type of running shoes will be best for you.

 

Training shoes

In contrast to running shoes, training shoes — often called “trainers” or “cross-trainers” — are often designed to be used for a variety of activities and exercises. If you think that you’ll be exercising by walking, weightlifting, cycling, taking some exercise classes, using the elliptical, and maybe doing a tiny bit of running, then training shoes will probably fit the bill for you.

In general, the more specific an activity you’re doing — and the more often you’re doing it — the more likely you will want to invest in that type of specialty shoe. If you envision yourself exclusively running or exclusively cycling, then it’d make sense to get shoes that are designed specifically for those activities. If, however, you think that you’ll be doing an assortment of different activities, it’s more financially prudent to buy a pair of shoes that can handle and respond to a variety of different activities and stimuli.

As is the case with purchasing running shoes, you may find it worthwhile to take the time to go to a local store that sells trainers so that you can try them on for size. It’s hard to base a decision solely off online reviews and word of mouth, and there’s really no replacement for actually putting a shoe onto your foot to see how it feels.

 

When the shoe fits

After you’ve secured a pair of shoes for your exercise this summer, have at it! Remember: you can extend the life of your shoes by wearing them only when you’re doing the particular exercise for which you have purchased them. In other words, though it may be tempting, I’d discourage you from wearing your running shoes or trainers around all day, every day, even during the times when you’re not exercising. In doing so, you’ll be taking time off their life and may find that you have to replace them sooner.

Have a safe and healthy summer, and let your feet take you places! You’ll be glad you did.

 

AUTHOR’S BIO: JANE GRATES

A certified fitness guru, hiking enthusiast and co-owner of Rockay. Making at the intersection of design and purpose to craft experiences both online and in real life. She also writes reviews and recommendations on Runnerclick, ThatSweetGift, NicerShoes and GearWeAre.

Only Got 15 Minutes?

By | Group X

You’re busy, I get that! But, if we can spare 15 minutes of our day to scroll aimlessly through Instagram why couldn’t we utilize those 15 minutes for fitness instead? Use that spare time you have to do something that’ll better your overall health and mental focus!

Now, I’m not asking you to go run for a straight 15 minutes or go do non-stop burpees, but spice it up with a quick routine. And, to help you even further I’ve attached an easy to follow, awesome YouTube video that will run you through two rounds of nine exercises. You’ll have 35 seconds on, 10 off. Sounds painless right? Exactly!

This video shows you various exercises that you can do with no equipment necessary. All you need is a mat (which you can easily grab down by our Cycling Room along the track). So, if you struggle to figure out which level to have your seat at on a weight machine or how much weight to actually lift; your struggles can vanish away!

Now, click the image below to watch this 15 minute workout video:

Stretch

Hopefully this will get you in the mindset to kick start yourself into fitting a workout in on those busy days that you thought you could never get a decent one! Not only can quick videos like these help you out, but we also offer express style Group X classes that’ll give you that quicker workout that you’ve been looking for. To view our upcoming class schedule visit our Group X page.

Yoga For Beginners

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Personal Training

 

As a beginner, often we equate yoga with some tough, limb-twisting poses.  The most common concern is: “I can’t even touch my toes, how can I do yoga?” Yoga is not about touching your toes or stretching 98 degrees to your northeast. It is a simple process of uniting with yourself, using your breath, body, and mind. It is easy and effortless!!  So, never mind if you’re not Ms. Flexible or Mr. Stretchable, are venturing into yoga at the age of 40, or you have secret love handles that are stressing you out.   Remove all those myths before beginning your yoga practice! The only one watching you is yourself, so just relax!! This journey will bring much joy and relaxation to you!

It is best to start learning yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher who can lead you through the correct way of doing each technique. This would help you learn yoga asanas (postures) properly and avoid possible injuries. Some of the philosophies or techniques taught in yoga may be new but it is a good idea to keep an open mind.

Do not be alarmed if you experience some soreness in the muscles during the initial days of the practice. But, if the pain persists, inform your instructor immediately. The crux here is to be regular with your yoga practice and have patience. Just like any other discipline, it will take some time for the body to get used to the yoga asanas. You will be able to experience the subtler and deeper benefits of yoga in due time only if you stay regular with your practice. Yoga encompasses yoga asanas, timeless ancient philosophy, pranayamas (breathing techniques) and meditations. All of these things combined will take you beyond the body level, offering a deeper spiritual experience.

The Prana creates an aura around the body. Every problem first generates in the subtle and then surfaces on the physical level. Sickness shows up in your Prana (Pranic Body) much before you get sick physically. Pranayama clears the whole energy around you, expands your aura and heightens the spirit. It brings clarity to the mind and good health to the body.  So, give yourself some of your valuable time and be patient for the results that will make you more flexible, healthy, calm, efficient and zealous.  Check out the amazing variety of Yoga and BodyFlow classes that we offer at Courts Plus!  Happy practicing yogis!

 

Time for a tune-up

By | Tennis

I know we don’t want to admit it, but Summer won’t last forever, at least not in this part of the country. However never fear, we have you covered. Even though there are only few weeks left of our Summer tennis programming there’s still plenty you can do in the month of August. August is the perfect time to tune up your game. Everyone’s summer season is winding down whether its for leagues, tournaments or World Team Tennis, and now’s the time to work out the kinks in your game before leagues, and for some of you, High School seasons get underway.

Our pros have times open in their schedule in the month of August, and would love to give you that kickstart you need to win those tight matches. Did you know that for those of you in High School, you are allowed to still take private lessons, even while the season is taking place, even if you have a match the same day! That’s definitely the way to get an edge over your opposition and take advantage of the expert tennis professionals at Courts Plus.

Also, don’t worry, you can trust the tennis pros at Courts Plus that they know what they’re doing. They are professionals, they do this for a living. Our 4 full-time tennis pros have nearly 100 years of teaching experience between them, and are constantly looking to improve their teaching and playing skills. You can routinely see our pros playing local tournaments, studying tennis guides or watching their students play. At Courts Plus, we do tennis, and we would love you to do tennis too!

Tips for Strength Training Plateaus

By | Fitness Fun, Membership, Personal Training

Does this sound familiar? You have about an hour before your workout. You start thinking about what routine you are going to do. You take your pre-workout drink and even add a little extra. You’re getting yourself jacked up to lift more than you did last week. Today’s workout is going to be great! You get to the gym and find your favorite bench, squat rack, or whatever it may be. You throw plates on, do a couple reps and think to yourself, “OMG, this feels super heavy today.” This happens to almost everyone. It’s deflating, it’s frustrating and it downright sucks. I want to give you a few tips that might help you get over that frustrating plateau.

Change up Your Routine
There are 2 different types of lifters. There are the people who write everything down. They have a set routine that they will do for 8-12 weeks, nothing changes. Then there are people like myself, who just kind of wing it. We go in kind of knowing what muscle group to work but have no clue what exercise will be done and in what order. Neither one of these is right or wrong, it’s a personal preference. Whichever lifter you are, try to change something up. If you are constantly in that 8-12 range, try 6-8 weeks at 15-20 reps or 3-6 reps. If it’s not the reps you’re changing, try slowing down. Take 3-5 seconds both on your up and down motion. You will definitely need to lower your weight, which also means throwing your ego out the door. There are many studies done that getting more “time under tension” has really helped in gaining strength and size. Your body needs a change, it adapts quickly to the routine you are in.

Overtraining
This can be controversial. There are some experts who don’t believe in overtraining as long as you are taking at least 48 hours before working the same muscle group. If you are already strength training 6-7 day per week, maybe scale back a bit. Try 4 days by working out Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, Friday. If you just must get into the gym then do some light cardio or abdominal training on your “off” days. It may also be beneficial to take a whole week off from all training. Another issue may be that you are spending too much time in the gym. There is no reason to workout for 2 hours at a time. Stop the chit chat, checking out social media and everyone’s favorite, the selfies in the mirror. Keep track of your rest time and then get back to work. You will be amazed how good your workout can be in less than an hour if you stay focused.

Rest
There is a new study out that says we need 9 hours of sleep to fully give your body the rest it needs. Now, as we all know, this is very unrealistic in today’s society. We are busy people. Especially if you have young kids. There is already no time for you to relax and destress from the day so how in the world can anyone get this much sleep. If you are one of the lucky ones, good for you! If you are like me, I function quite well with 6-7 hours of sleep. Anything over that makes me draggy. The key is to take advantage of the sleep you do get. Try not to drink much water after supper. There is nothing worse than getting up 2-3 times per night to use the bathroom. There is nothing worse than interrupted sleep. I don’t have the perfect answer for you on sleep as everyone’s situation is different. Do the best you can to plan your day so that you get crawl into bed as early as possible and get yourself a good night sleep.

Nutrition
If the 3 tips above have not helped you break through the dreaded plateau, you might not be eating enough. If you are really dedicated to getting bigger and stronger you should also be dedicated to tracking your nutrition. You should have a pretty good idea how many calories you are eating per day and what the breakdown is with your protein, carbs and fats. I would suggest upping your calories by as little as 100 calories per day. The best way would be to get those from carbs. 25grams pre and post workout. You want the majority of your carbs eaten around your workout. If you start breaking through, great, keep the calories where they are. Once you get stuck again, increase a little more. The bigger and stronger you get, the more you will need to eat. Also, don’t forget to hydrate. I find that the more hydrated I am the more energy I have. Your body is made up of mostly water so keep pumping the fluids.

I hope at least one of these tips helps you in your strength training journey. If you need more help or would like to talk to one of our Trainers please visit our website or call us at 701.237-4805.