As mentioned in last week's post, the curling season has winded down and it's time to get out and enjoy the activities that spring and summer offer. That said, there is no time like the present to make sure your body is in good shape to prevent injury and improve mechanics for the start of next season. Part 1 emphasized the importance of mobility throughout certain areas of the body, while this post will highlight some exercises that can improve stability for curlers.
Playing a sport on an uneven surface automatically requires an individual to have a certain amount of balance and stability to prevent falling and to stay in control of the body to perform in an optimal fashion. The exercises below focus on maintaining stability and increasing strength in key areas for both sweeping and throwing a stone.
1. Single Leg Lunge: Place 1 foot on a bench, chair or ball behind you and 1 leg in front. Lunge down, keeping your front knee behind your toes. This exercise can be performed with your bodyweight or with dumbbells in each hand. To increase the difficulty, you can perform the same maneuver while looping a resistance band around your thigh and tying it to a chair or leg of a table.
2. Dumbbell Pullover: Lie on your back holding 2 dumbbells with your elbows straight. Slowly raise the dumbbells overhead and return to starting position.
3. Scaption Raises: Start with 2 light dumbbells (5-10 pounds) at your side. Raise your arms on a 45 degree angle to shoulder height, keeping your elbows straight. Slowly return to the starting position.
4. Side Plank: Start laying on one side, holding yourself up on your elbow. Place one knee on top of the other, and lift torso up, keeping shoulders and hips in line. To increase the difficulty, lift your body up onto your elbow and feet.
5. Modified Curl-Up: While lying on the floor with one knee bent, place one hand behind your head and the other hand under your low back, slowly raise up so that your shoulder blades clear off the floor. Return to starting position.
6. Bird Dog: While in a crawling position, slowly draw your leg straight behind you. Be sure to keep your hips as level as possible. To increase the difficulty, draw your leg behind you and opposite arm upwards. Hold and return to starting position.