Play is Training

We've been in the midst of an Arctic blast for awhile now here in Ohio. Snow and below zero temperatures, and even worse windchill, is stressful -- going from your car into a building is uncomfortable because it requires massive amounts of clothing.

It makes me thankful for the gym space that we have, but every now and then, I long to train outdoors in the park near us. Especially this week.

So I created an indoor obstacle course at our gym for some of our classes, with more exploratory movement and less heavy lifting than usual.

I challenged people to be creative and to try different movements and most importantly, have fun with it!

I demonstrated a few options, but encouraged everyone to think of other moves and they had about 3 minutes at each 'station' to try different movements on their own.

The feedback was great. They said it was fun, challenging and 'just what I needed after a busy day!'

From trying to use a hula-hoop, to planking on the evil ab wheel, to launching off the climber onto the mat, to balancing 3 ft. off the ground, stepping with a sandbag, and exploring various jumping and climbing techniques on different platforms, I think it was just what was needed that day!

What might feel like play, left people breathing hard and mentally challenged too. It was training with a twist.

Some members discovered movement skills they didn't know they had.

I think Tim is a candidate for some Parkour as he launched effortlessly over the low end of the climber! (No photo as I was wondering how to spot him or if I should stop him!)

Other people discovered areas they want to work on. Men, for some reason, can't seem to use a hula hoop?

It is so important to incorporate elements of play into physical training.

Do you do that in your own training? I would love to hear what constitutes play for you and how you use it.