So as most of you know already, last weekend Gabe and I made a courageous decision to drive to Quebec City for the Canadian Open Qualifier!
For those of you who follow my Instagram @claudiaholzner or my teams Instagram @syncanada2020 you would already know what we went through during that trip…. A quick recap: Went for a great lunch, popped a tire driving 100km/hr, changed the tire, got to the hotel and received the key to someone else’s room…awkward…. got a new room and met some synchro girls who had been running around trying to figure out where we were staying. That’s probably the best way to describe it all!
We were so excited to arrive at the pool the next morning to perform our Tech Duet for the first time in public and we are pretty happy about our swim! We have a ways to go and lots of little things to work on, but we are confident that our training plan is working and that we are on the right track as we get ready for Japan in just about a month!
I know that both Gabe and I truly felt a huge wave of support throughout the Synchro Community as we made our Canadian debut and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to give us positive comments and tips for our duet as well as just to chat and meet the next generation of excellent swimmers! Thank you for making us feel welcome and we can hardly wait to perform in front of you again at the Canadian Open in May!
Follow our journey using the hashtag #gabeclau in honour of our Aquabelle “mini me’s” xoxo
Thank you to Claire and Alina for sending in some questions about how to begin improving your flexibility in synchro (without causing injury!)
Here are 5 tips and tricks that my team and I use on a daily basis to improve our flex and make sure our bodies stay happy and healthy. After all, our bodies really are everything when it comes to sport.
- Keeping your muscles warm. – I am sure most of you have seen athletes wearing long socks to keep warm during figure competitions. This is one way to keep your muscles warm without having to add anything physical to your already taxing day! Before getting ready for your practice or competition try wearing long clothes. Ex. long socks to cover the ankles, long pants for your hips and knees, as well as long shirts for your shoulders, elbows and wrists. This can help to protect the joints so that you can protect them from any damage. Try it at your next practice!
- Foam Rolling. – This is a great addition to your daily routine! Start by foam rolling your back. Then roll out your bum, quadriceps, hamstrings, and inner thighs. Try doing 8 times back and forth on each muscle before moving on to the next. Do this at the beginning of training!
- Hot tub stretching. – This is great if you are struggling to get flat with your splits on land. The warmth of the tub will be just enough to loosen up your muscles so that you can get a little bit more of a relaxing stretch instead of the tense stretch you would get on land. A lot of times I see people who use every muscle in their body to hold themselves up so that they don’t feel that extreme stretch. This is bad!!! This can cause all sorts of issues later in your shoulders and back, even staining some leg muscles. Use the tub trick to start and work your way up.
- Progression to Splits. – I love doing a progression to my splits. I either start my practice or end my practice with some of these stretches (as well as rolling). Starting with a standard lunge position, to a hamstring stretch, back to the lunge but this time with the front foot turned out at a 45 degree angle. Drop the hips and wiggle into different positions to find a nice stretch. At that lunge bend the back leg in so that you stretch the front of the quad on the back leg. From there you can go into a half split (a split but with something supporting your front knee or front hip), and then get into your split. Make sure you do both legs and HOLD for more than 30 seconds each!
- Go get a massage. – Now that training is more intense, I have learnt the importance of massages in an athletes career! Our muscles are so important to us and if we let them get too tight they can rip! Nobody wants that. When you feel sore, tight or even just a little bit tense, get yourself a therapeutic massage and let them work their magic! Its a great way to keep you healthy and help flexibility.
For more tips, contact me using the side bar! Also, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about the tips I’ve given here.