Paintball is not just a weekend pastime anymore. Gone are the days when paintball was only used as a corporate team building exercise or an activity to do on a whim with a couple of buddies. Over the past ten years, paintball has become a sport where individuals or teams compete vigorously for more than just bragging rights. Professional teams play varieties of styles, such as woodsball and speedball, earning salaries that are comparable with athletes in other more widely known sports. In fact, in 2006, Oliver Lang inked a deal that earned him $100,000 and made him the highest paid paintball player in the world.
So, how do paintball players prepare for the rigorous physical activity required in the sport? With game play that is very replicative of military maneuvers, participants must focus on a regimen that keeps them quick, agile, and resilient. Here are some of the exercises that are perfect for paintball players.
Core work is excellent for paintball players because it is imperative to have strong core muscles when partaking in a variety of practical tactics during a battle, such as army crawls. A strong core affects the ability to pump ones legs and run quickly, hurdle down objects, and make sudden direction changes. Planks and weighted abs are great options for strengthening the core muscles.
Quick. That’s a word that should be connected to paintball as an inherent part of the sport. Paintball players who have speed on their side tend to have the upper hand. Those who do not have this ability naturally can improve their skills by doing sprint training. Pumping ones legs up and down while standing in a pool, or simply running in place, will help prepare your body for the intense spurts of movement required for sprinting. Once you feel comfortable, engage in daily sprints. Try and increase the number or distance you do each day, and over time, participants will be able to see a marked change in their speed.
Cardiovascular levels are paramount in this active, fast-paced sport. While there are times where strategy wins out and movements should be slow and calculated, there are also times when endurance takes over and participants must be ready to tax themselves at a moment’s notice. Burpees, mountain climbers, and interval training come in handy here. Running on a treadmill and going hard for 30 seconds, then recovering for 30 seconds over a span of 20 minutes will provide that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) boost that paintballers need.
Body Weight Exercises
There’s nothing wrong with a couple of good, old fashioned squats. With the amount of crouching and crab crawling essential in paintball, squats and lunges are extremely applicable to your workout routine. They strengthen the legs and build the muscles needed to make your strategy effective. Pushups help with shoulder fatigue and overall arm strength. It’s time to whip out those old calisthenics, because they still work and always will.
Paintball players pull from a wide range of skills to be effective in the game. Being physically prepared in conjunction with planning strategic moves is prudent to remain competitive in battle. Whether you are a weekend warrior out to tag your buddies before they get you, have aspirations of making it to the big leagues, or are already a professional paintball player, these exercises will help you improve your physical endurance and keep you ahead in the game.