“Rainy” day workout coaching tips

Below is an article we wrote to assist Girls on The Run (GOTR) coaches create a workout plan when confronted with circumstances curtailing normal activity, ie rainy or smokey days, or injuries.


Photo: Smithridge STEM Academy student and GOTR participant with her coach, Sara Holm, (pictured on right), presented a thank you poster to Julie on behalf of Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab. Silver Sage Family Medicine and Sports Lab sponsored a team of low income girls at her Title 1 school this year.  Julie provided the coaching tips below for “rainy” day workouts:

These apparently inopportune circumstances, whether rain, smoke or injury are actually just the opportunities we need to force us to mentally and physically mix it up. And as a result of this variety we become stronger, are less prone to injury, and have more fun with all the different aspects of activity and fitness.

These “rainy” day schedules are also an opportunity  to help girls learn better body awareness and movement mechanics to prevent injury. We should all be incorporating “rainy” day activities more consistently in to our fitness plans.

In girls, the lack lack of hip stability and consequently the inability to use it in movement and athletics coupled with over reliance on quads is greatest culprit and contributor to traumatic knee injury. So “rainy” day activities are the ideal to help the girls avoid this pitfall.

The overriding theme to these sessions,  is quality over quantity, so emphasize attention to detail by consistently cueing the girls.

Start with an activation circuit, these develop better brain to butt awareness, you have to feel it, before you can use it. I suggest doing these exercises, initially without mini-bands.

  • Clams
  • Fire hydrant
  • Side lying abductor
  • Captain Morgan

Movement prep will engage the girls mentally and physically, as well as heighten body awareness and balance, and fire the nervous system. Basically this prepares them for safe, effective movement. The key is to do these well, with stable balanced moves, neutral pelvis and spine, and good hip stability producing hip, knee toe alignment.

  • Knee hug to lunge
  • Standing hip twist
  • Standing quad stretch
  • Foos ball
  • Lateral lunges

In these timed circuits – the girls could team up in groups of four, each on one exercise of the circuit. They earn points as a team for number completed well with emphasis on quality over quantity.

Circuit #1

  • Crunch
  • Push ups
  • Bridge
  • Hula hoop

Circuit #2

  • Bicycles
  • Dips
  • Static squat – with good form, knees over second toe, knees at toes, sitting in to butt, femur to horizontal 30 degrees, and torso tilt with neutral pelvis and spine
  • Jump rope

Agility-aerobic circuits as tag team, scored on quality and completion time.

  • Hop scotch
  • Slalom course
  • Run backward, 10 meters ( or whatever available)
  • Balance beam
  • High skips
  • Dribble and shoot
  • Answer a question re health, nutrition, etc

Complete the “rainy” day with a stretching session, while chatting over “what was your favorite thing about the rainy day schedule.”

We should all, even uninjured on the clearest of days, include more “rainy day schedule” days consistently in our week. These types of workouts are invaluable to teach proper and safe ways to use muscles and hold body positions while moving in our activities!