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Welcome to the third edition of 'Learning from the Pros'. Several people reached out and requested a blog post on training and recovery for roundnet. Some common questions were: How should I train for roundnet? How can I recover faster? etc.

We took this feedback and generated four questions to ask the Pros what they thought... These questions were: 

  1. Tips to recover from playing roundnet?
  2. Strength training recommendations for roundnet?
  3. Cardio recommendations for roundnet?
  4. Anything else you want to add about training and recovery?

Without further ado let's meet the 'pros' we interviewed...

Dylan Fogarty-  He is currently known for playing on Origin Vengeance. What may be less known is that he is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer and currently works in Chicago as a full time personal trainer.
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Travis Core- Travis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of North Georgia while playing basketball. He holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Functional Movement Systems, and Precision Nutrition. While an undergraduate, he helped start the UNG strength and conditioning program for athletics and worked primarily with women’s soccer, baseball, tennis, and golf. He has worked with various high schools, collegiate and professional athletes while in PT school, and is currently the head strength and conditioning coach at Covenant College. Travis currently plays on Flexual Healing with Jarratt Rouse.
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Jarratt Rouse- Jarratt currently plays with the aforementioned Travis Core on Flexual Healing. His main background is baseball where he played at the collegiate level as a four-year starter. He graduated in 2014 and has been a ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer leading group training classes at the Jenny Schatzle Program ever since.
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Tom Witt- Tom has a bachelors and masters degree in Kinesiology, from California State University, Chico. He is a Certified Personal Trainer- AFAA, a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition-ISSA, a former head strength and conditioning coach Chico State Men’s Basketball 2014-2016, a current head fitness and nutrition coach for Metabolic Profiling (MetPro), he has been a competitive roundnet player since 2012, and he's a 2x premier qualified player.

Let the interviewing begin!

1. Tips to recover from playing roundnet?

Dylan- These may seem basic, but I've always adhered to a few staples in any endurance sport. #1, drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Recently I've also added BCAAs to my water to keep my energy up throughout the tournament. #2, resting your body. Especially during the middle of the season, I usually only hit around twice per week outside of tournament weekends. That helped keep me ready to win weekend after weekend. #3, stretching. This really depends on each person, but I deal with shoulder pain so I warm up my shoulder to activate it for tournaments and as recovery. 

Travis- When it comes to recovery, a proactive approach is necessary. You have to take care of your body BEFORE the tournament.  It becomes increasingly difficult to recover when you don’t practice healthy habits or do much exercising prior to playing in a tournament. It’s similar to running in a half marathon. Runners gradually increase their mileage in preparation for their race. As roundnet players, we must gradually increase the amount of time we play 2-4 weeks leading up to the tournament.  Other things you can do to help recover, which are not so glamorous include: hydrate (.5-1 ounce per pound of bodyweight), eat well (lean proteins and eat the rainbow in fruits and veggies), and sleep well (>7 hours).  If you are not taking care of those recovery fundamentals, adding in other modalities may not be necessary.  However, if you are looking for additional ways to minimize specific muscle soreness, I recommend foam rolling 20-30 seconds over each muscle group after playing.

Jarratt- Recovering after a tournament can be a difficult task but these tips and tricks can expedite the process immensely: 1) ICE! This should always be the first method of recovery as it’s the best method to decrease inflammation in my opinion. Make an ice bag and wrap it to your body with an ace bandage or saran wrap. You can also prepare an ice cup by freezing water in a small paper cup. Remove the ice from the paper cup and rub it directly onto your sorest areas (great for tendons). Place back in paper cup and put back in freezer for later use. Ice on and off for 10-15 minute increments as much as desired. 2) ROLL OUT! If you ever see me at a tournament I will always have some type of roller, whether it be a PVC pipe, foam, or hand held variety (lacrosse balls, baseballs, and softballs work well too). Rollers are great for before and after play as they apply heavy pressure to an area of muscle to smooth out any scar tissue and break up any myofascia build up. When our bodies have little build ups of scar tissue or fascia it typically creates and pulling sensation in the body. The muscles are then improperly pulling and manipulating the ligaments and tendons, which in addition to the muscle soreness they create will also create joint pain. When rolling find the spots that hurt the most and focus on them applying slow steady pressure. Avoid rolling joints and really dig into the muscles. 3) KEEP MOVING! I typically take a rest day from roundnet and physical conditioning following a tournament, as your body needs rest to recover and the over used rotational and swinging muscles are overly fatigued. This being said it’s very important to keep your body moving in the following days to help alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Just because it’s a rest day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go on a nice walk, bike ride, or hike to help flush some lactic acid out of your muscles. Lactic Acid builds up in your muscles and aides in creating a deep and elongated muscle soreness. In addition to my first two steps of recovery, movement allows for that lactic acid to be removed more readily. Ultimately you need to listen to your body because it knows best, but continuing to move in the coming days post tournament can expedite recovery. No matter how sore I am I try and always resume my fitness training regiment on Monday post tournament. I know it’s going to hurt a little during the exercise but it helps my body and makes me feel a lot better in the following days.

Tom- Dehydration continues after you stop playing. Don't stop drinking water just because you stop moving. Take in another 12 ounces of water after you finish playing. You can stay on top of hydration by checking your urine. Post-workout nutrition requires two things: protein to aid in protein synthesis, carbohydrate to replace muscle glycogen. The optimal choice would be to refuel with high quality foods, choosing a lean protein source, unprocessed carbohydrate such as sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice, and vegetables. Athletes should be wary and try to stay away from processed foods, foods with additional added sugar, and highly inflammatory foods such as foods deep fried in unhealthy oils. If whole foods are not available you may choose a recovery drink with a 2:1 carb to protein ratio. Sleep plays a huge factor in recovery, in 2014 the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics found that youth athletes who get less than 8 hours of sleep are 1.7 times more likely to be injured than an athlete that gets 8 hours or more of sleep per night. Sleep is important in the nights leading up to a tournament to ensure the athlete is well rested and recovered from training to perform to their highest capacity in the tournament.

2. Strength training recommendations for roundnet?

Dylan- Personally, I don't lift specifically for spikeball, but I'm a huge proponent of high volume training in general. Lots of supersets, drop sets, and time under tension work. That has allowed me to develop some good muscular endurance, which aides me as the day gets a little later.

Travis- Strength training should be focused around ground based, multi-joint, and multi-planar exercises. The simplest way this can be done is to include exercises in your program from each of the following categories: squat, hinge, lunge, upper body push, and upper body pull.  Start with bilateral variations of exercises and look to progress to unilateral versions to increase the benefit. Along with that, incorporate some core stability exercises like planks, glute-bridges, and dead-bug variations to further assist with injury risk reduction. Include some arm care as roundnet is taxing to the upper body. The “Thrower’s Ten” program is a simple and easy to execute program that will help strengthen the rotator cuff and shoulder musculature.

Jarratt- There are a lot of different strength training strategies for sport specific activity, I will give you some advice on my personal favorites: 1) METHOD: Combining your regular strength training with explosive strength training. A great way to accomplish this is super setting a heavier weighted lift with a lighter or bodyweight dynamic version of the same exercise. Ex. Back squat straight to box jumps or weighted Bulgarian split squats to split squat jumps for height. By pairing these two types of exercise you condition your body to not only build muscle but to also be able to accelerate and decelerate through the same range of motion with maximum efficiency and intensity which is needed in a fast moving sport like roundnet! For repetitions try doing your loaded strength movement for 10-12 reps following it with your explosive movement for 4-6 reps. Ex. 10 reps dumbbell chest press right into 5 reps of clap push-ups. If a clap push-up is not accessible try it on your knees or on an incline with hands on a bench. 2) EXERCISE TYPE: I will start by saying you should work out your whole body not neglecting any section as it can lead to imbalances. I will highlight here some easily neglected muscle groups that can help your roundnet game immensely. The most important in my opinion is trunk stability and rotational muscle strength and endurance. You ask a lot of your body with all of the hitting and swinging that is done on tournament day so strengthen your mid section to prepare for all of this. Exercises to try: Anti-rotation cable walk out, low to high cable wood chops, plank rows, Spiderman push-ups, side plank reach unders, and Russian twists. Another important piece of the puzzle is shoulder stability and rotator cuff strengthening. Keep the shoulders stronger, healthy, and happy for elongated game play. Exercises to try: internal and external rotations with cable or band, thumbs up straight arm raise (use different angles), cable face pull, Arnold press, push-ups and pull ups with scapular protractions. The last things I will highlight are the hip stabilizers and all the little muscles in and around your glutes. By keeping these muscles strong it will help alleviate low back and knee pain and keep your body in alignment. Exercises to try: Hip bridge with our without weight with resistance band above knee, clam shells, internal and external hip rotations with cable or band, wall sit while squeezing med ball between knees, side lunges, hamstring curls on stability ball.

Tom- Training needs should be based on an individual's specific needs to achieve optimal performance. Mobility and Stability: Roundnet is a sport that requires constant changing of directions, abnormal body angles and movements, and the ability to maintain balance throughout different movements. Specific mobility/stability drills: usually as a warm up, that I use myself and with my athletes: bird dogs, balancing on one foot, banded walks, ankle circles, shoulder mobility drills, warrior poses, and any specific drills to target specific areas that that an individual needs to work on specifically. Going through a Functional Movement Screening (FMS) Test can determine any areas that need work, or even taking a yoga class can help to highlight areas that need work and areas where you are already proficient. Core training fits in here as well, I like to focus on stability based core exercises such as planks and farmers walks, as opposed to movement based core exercises such as crunches or russian twists. Movement: change of direction is huge in roundnet, performing cone drills such as a simple T-drill to emphasize moving in different patterns (sprinting, side shuffle, back pedal) and changing directions quickly. Agility drills on an agility ladder can be useful as well to improve coordination. Overall Strength: employ a strength training program that focuses on full body movements that move through a full range of motion, safely. Specific exercises and programming can be determined upon the individual's fitness level, any injuries they may have and their access to exercise equipment. I like to focus on higher reps 12-20 for the bulk roundnet training to promote muscle hypertrophy and endurance, along with some strength/power training (3-8 repetitions per exercise) during certain periods to help with increasing power.

This concludes Part 1 of 'Learning from the Pros: Training and Recovery. Part 2 will cover Cardio recommendations for roundnet, and 'Anything else you want to add about training and recovery?' Shout-out to the Pros for their thorough responses! Also! Just a reminder that for a limited time you can receive a 15% discount on all purchases on roundnetworld.com when you use the discount code ‘communitycollection’ at check out! 

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