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Curling fitness advice

Physical fitness and curling are probably not two words you would immediately put together. Indeed, the sport's premier website states "Fitness and strength are not required for recreational curling."

However, at the elite level fitness will make a difference, and as a result, international competitors do train for curling.

So what should you think about if you want to get in shape for the season? There are two main areas to look at:

Cardio conditioning: This may sound surprising, but this is an anaerobic sport. Most players will alternate vigorous sweeping with quiet periods when they must gently deliver the rock. This means a combination of overall cardio fitness, and anaerobic (interval training).

Intervals don't have to be at an extreme level - figure out your maximum heart rate during sweeping and your resting (throwing) rate, then train by alternating between the two.

Strength Training: This sport primarily uses the leg and core muscles. You will need strong leg and core muscles to sustain the delivery position for any length of time, and if you play several games in a day, or several days in a row, fatigue can creep in.

A general gym based program that emphasizes legs and core (squats, lunges, abs and low back work) will provide all the strength you need.

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