How To Get Polo Fit & How to Get Started

polo fitness Jul 30, 2021

In this session we're chatting to India Parker-Smith again, about how to get polo fit...

Because, being fit, and being "Polo Fit" are 2 very different things.

Transcription of "How To Get Polo Fit - & How to Get Started"

So, ultimately, really, for somebody that is new to polo, it would be really important to get hold of you and to figure out how to get fit for polo, really, because it's so important.

I mean, you can run forever and really not get polo fit. I mean, I think of my son, who is a gym fanatic, and he came down to Plettenburg Bay with me, and he played polo, 10 years ago I guess, before. And we were short of a player and we said, 'Dustin get on'. And he did for a chukka, and at the end of four chukkas, great, well done. Thanks very much.

The next morning he woke up and he said, 'Pop, it's not that I can't get out of bed, it's just I can't move'. He couldn't move. I mean, here's this fitness freak that was stuck in bed with every muscle hurting, you know.

All these people starting and just beginning polo, it would be great for you to just give us, a sort of, overview of where you'd start and how you'd go about that. And then, you know, obviously people booking lessons with you, but where would you start with that?

So, basically what they kind of talk about is this mantra you can see, supple, stable, strong. Is you would start off by mobilizing and stretching. Because, you know, especially if your job, for instance, involves being sat down a lot, everything's quite tight.

And even if you are working with horses, you're not warming up, you're still going to have some tightness somewhere. So, I always think before you even think about going into the fun stuff, make sure you're mobilized, you're fully warmed up, your're injury free, or as well as you can be.

And then from there you start waking up the muscles. So, you do a lot of engagement work. So, these can be just with, I've got some visual aids here, some bands, or like signa band, you know, all of this stuff can help just open up the joints, wake up the muscles.

And again, this is a good way to work out which, where the imbalances are. So, if your left side is weaker than the right side, if your left glute isn't turning on as well as the right glute. So, they're really good aids to use, to help highlight any imbalances.

Then you work on those and balances as well. And then stability functional work. So, this is the main bit functional work. So, yes, like you said, your son is mega fit. And I change my personal training program depending on when I'm going to start playing polo.

So, usually I would go to Argentina from October through to December, come home for Christmas, for a couple of weeks, then go back out, Jan, Feb, March. And so, I start doing that pre-season training two, three months beforehand. I would just change a few things in my training programs from doing, you know, more heavy weight stuff to functional weight.

So, higher reps and less weight, you're saying? Yes. Yep. And then functional involves simulating the movement patterns of polo. So, you'll see, I'm always on like, oh my Instagram on the Bosu, which is like a balancing ball. And then you start simulating the swings. You can then have people throw things to you.

So, you've got to work on your balance, obviously, polo you're very, one-sided the whole time, but you're engaging your inner thighs. So, it's all about compound movements, and just simulating those movement patterns of polo.

So, you can be mega fit and strong, but if your body isn't used to doing the near-side and the off-side shots, then of course, we're going to wake up the next day and be like, oh my goodness. And yeah, it's, and I've done it before.

Because, when I went in October, I was really prepared. And then the two weeks over Christmas, I did nothing apart from eat and drink because it's Christmas.

So, I went back out in January, and my body took a good week and a half to get back into playing polo, even though I'd been doing it for 10 weeks prior to that, and I'd done my pre-season training. But just having those 2 weeks off, doing nothing, made a big difference.

So, it's all about the functional work. And, what'd I say now, the functional and the compound movements as well. So, would your, through Chukka Wellness, would your whole training program, obviously focus towards polo? Is it, does it vary vastly from what I would do if I went to the gym, just to get fit, is it a big, is it a big change.

Huge change, huge change. So, you would change again, you would change your sessions depending on where you are in the season as well. But yeah, the thing is you want to work the whole body.

So, you do those compound exercises, but basically a compound is where you're using different muscle groups at the same time.

Isolation ones, are a way of just working one muscle group, ie. the sit-ups to work your tummy muscles. So, there are two different ones.

So, because polo, you are, you know, you're squeezing with your inner thighs, you're reaching, you're engaging your core. Your back muscles are on, you know, you're working the shoulder. That's, you know, you're working so many different things at the same time. And you wouldn't necessarily be doing that in a normal gym workout.

So, that's where the functional exercises are really important to get you polo fit. Yeah. That's so interesting. And how many days a week would you be having to do this? Is it an everyday thing to be effective? I'm talking optimal, okay. For all of us that are out there, is it like a normal gym session every day? Or is it not, good to do it every day? Is it good to have a day between.

Yes. We're just about to launch our virtual eight week pre-season program or my membership hub. And within that we have a rest day. So, because it's pre-season, you can afford to work a little bit harder because you haven't, you're not really working too much with the horses, you know, as much as would if you're playing chukkas and tournament's during the, during the main season.

So, yeah, you don't have to go hell for leather for hours every day. You can do, you know, sometimes the 20 minute workout and then the next day you do a 30 minute workout and then you've, you're working the core and cardio one day, then the next day you're doing legs.

So, you're not working every part. (Different muscle group everyday). Exactly. So, you mix it up depending on what your goals are, your injuries, are your imbalances, are you, you know, you don't have to go hell for leather.

So, in this pre pre-season training program, we've got maximum 30 minute workouts. So, because again, you know, when you're dealing with horses, time runs away with you, you know. So, you can't, so not everyone has an hour and a half free every day to do a workout.

And I don't do that. I'll do maximum 45 minutes, because you can still have a very effective workout within that time.

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