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Boot~ique: Spring is here - how to improve your softball game

It’s officially Spring again – and you may know this because opening day for America's Finest City Softball League (AFSCL) was this past Sunday!

We are fortunate to have several softball players in our boot camp. We know they are going to have a better season this year, with their new strength and fitness levels.

Whether you are a serious softball player or just play socially, you too can improve your game through boot camp-style workouts.

Boot camp workouts focus on certain aspects of fitness that target weight loss and increased strength and endurance. The same principles that allow your body to become leaner and stronger, can also improve your game!

With a boot camp geared specifically toward women, the focus shifts to building strength, increasing power and speed, improving personal focus and concentration, and gaining a marked physical improvement, overall.

Because the game of softball requires focus, speed, and power, workouts that target these areas can make a big difference in how you approach your game.

A boot camp regimen also generally incorporates jump squats and sprints, which are usually done in between other exercises. These target the same muscles that are used when you run the bases. Once you hit the ball, you have to quickly transition to sprint mode.

Weaving the jump squats and sprints in throughout the workout will not only get you used to switching gears, but also using those fast-twitch muscles for your sprints. Because the better you are at sprinting, the better your chances are at getting around those bases quickly!

These types of exercises also tie into reaction time. If you play infield you're in close proximity to the batter and need the ability to react quickly; in the outfield, you may have to sprint across the grass to make a clean or diving catch. You will definitely see personal improvement in these areas.

Boot camp sessions should also incorporate strength exercises that will help you hit the ball harder and more effectively. Hitting the ball uses many different muscles because it is a complex motion. It is important to have a strong core, as well as upper and lower body muscle strength.

The stronger you are, the better your body will respond to specific actions in the game.

Diving for the ball requires total body strength as well as quick reaction time, so a focus on body strength exercises such as lunges, walking lunges, and pushups is also important. Twisting motions use the oblique muscles, which we target in boot camp with ‘side planks’.

Aside from focusing on strength and reaction time/speed, at Bootique Fitness, we also focus on flexibility. We spend a lot of time stretching during the cool-down. It is very important to stretch because without stretching, injuries can occur.

Don't forget, whether you are participating in a boot camp style regimen, or not, you need to take the time to properly stretch before each game. Injuries happen most often during the first few weeks of the season and they are definitely not good for your game!

Aside from the many physical enhancements, working out boot camp-style can also be great for self-esteem, self-confidence and teamwork.

At Bootique, we take notice when our boot campers begin to make improvements. We encourage our participants and incorporate team exercises to build camaraderie and confidence. Many of our members share when they have reached a goal or accomplished something they could never do before. When this happens, it is exciting for everyone.

Playing any sport requires teamwork and a certain amount of confidence. It is amazing what increased confidence can do for your game. You might find new reasons to take your game to the next level.

So remember, even if you feel you are already pretty good at softball and aren’t really looking for any tips, by incorporating a boot camp-style workout and enhancing your already athletic lifestyle, you may find you like the results, after all!

My challenge to skeptics

My Bootique Fitness workouts incorporate all of the features listed above, which I promise will make you much more competitive on the softball field.

Still skeptical? SDGLN readers can try my boot camp out for free, just by getting a VIP Pass!

By signing up for the VIP Pass, you will get a full week of boot camp, a private nutrition analysis, a full body assessment and a massage from Haven Body Therapy.

Just go to our website and register. It’s absolutely free. I'm pretty sure you won't regret it!

Jaylin Allen is a local Fitness Expert in San Diego, known for getting her clients in shape in record time through her popular "Boot Camps For Women" and "Zumba" classes. For more information about Jaylin, fitness, or her classes, be sure to check out Bootique Fitness or call 619.602.8087.