I have always been curious about what dodgeball players do for fitness outside of the game. What I really want to know is how it improved their game play.
I went on a short mission talking to various people about their fitness programs and if they are helping them on the court.
What I’ve found among a majority of the players is weight training. Clarence and Denham, national competitive dodgeball players from Manitoba Triumphs, have said weight training has been beneficial to their game and overall shoulder health. Denham mentions “Weight training: shoulder exercises – shoulder press, lateral raise, front raise, bench press, and cable cross with free weights to increase stability muscles and range of motion”
We sometimes forget how much strain we put on our shoulders playing dodgeball. When you first start playing dodgeball no one mentions the importance of shoulder health and how to prevent common injuries . “Know your body is the big thing. There’s a big difference between hurt and sore. You have to be able to distinguish that and you have to leave your ego at the door. When your body needs rest, it does” says Clarence.
If you’re interested in maintaining shoulder health I suggest checking out Amelie’s blog – she has great tips on maintaining and getting your shoulders in top shape. Amelie played on the 2014 & 2015 Women’s dodgeball team and has had her share of dodgeball injuries.
Shoulders are not the only thing we don’t consider while playing dodgeball. Michael from Divide by 2+7 (WRL) has mentioned since starting Crossfit, his core strength is stronger. “I noticed a significant change in my throwing. I’m able to engage my body into the throw, instead of just using my arm”. When you think about it a strong core enhances balance and stability,it can help prevent falls and injuries during games. Weak, tight, or unbalanced core muscles can undermine you in game play and while it’s important to build a strong core it’s also important to take things slow when getting into new workout routines.
Competitive dodgeball is exhausting due to its quick movements. Ashley from TC Boosh (MN) plays competitive dodgeball and told me cardio has really helped her game. “Sprinting drills has really helped my stamina and speed. When I first started out, I didn’t do much cardio and I thought everybody was crazy for being able to play for long durations of time. I’m now able to play two 20 minute halves and only sub out about once”
Training is key but you don’t need a very intense workout regime. It depends on what your goals are. Ashley mentioned her main focus is consistency, “Playing as often as possible really helps your body adjust to playing the sport”.
If you’re wanting to take dodgeball serious and be competitive you’ll want to train, play and train some more.
FOR SCIENCE: I’ll be training for the next six months to see what works for myself. I’ll be working with some local dodgeballers, fitness enthusiasts and local sport therapists to figure out what workout routines may benefit my game. If you have suggestions or want to share your dodgeball journey, message me on Facebook, I love dodgeball, fitness and want to hear your journey.
See you on the court 🙂