It’s well documented that exercise can improve the performance of hundreds of daily tasks and sports etc. But what about the performance and health for the modern day gamer?
I personally believe so, and in today’s article I’m going to share my top picks that the serious gamer should be doing in the gym. And you can forget finger curls with a 1kg dumbbell, this is all quality work here.
As an industry worth over $100 billion, I think it’s safe to say many of you out there like to play video games. I’ve even worked with clients that make a living out of playing video games!
As a serious or recreational gamer I’d recommend the movements below pop up somewhere in your weekly gym routine. N.B. these exercises are to improve your gaming, body, health and well-being, not to improve your performance for the Fortnite Floss Challenge!
The gamer often carries tension through the hands and wrists. This stretch helps to open up the musculature around the hands, wrists and forearms. Spread the fingers wide, place the hand flat on the floor and apply some forward pressure. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Banded chest stretch
Due to the nature of gaming, on a computer, a PS4 or Xbox etc. the shoulders stay closed and internally rotated for hours on end. Couple this with other daily tasks such as driving, and you’ll start to see it’s a recipe for disaster for the poor old shoulders. Open them up with this stretch for 30-60 seconds. Whilst you’re in this position, try to externally rotate the shoulder so the palm faces outward. The band means you’ll also start to get a shoulder joint distraction, creating more space for movement.
Hip flexor stretch
Accumulative hours spent sitting, means the anterior hip spends lots of time in a closed position, meaning it’s going to get tight and be an issue for the gamer. This stretch will help to open those hips back up, improve your movement and help to prevent lower back pain. Posteriorly tilt the pelvis (rock it back) and the push your hips forward into it. Hold for 30-60 seconds per leg.
Not only does resistance training help to improve strength and build lean body mass (making you look and feel like a gaming character) it can also help to develop coordination and reaction time. This will help with your gaming ability. The deadlift is a great total body movement that works the hamstrings, the glutes, lower back and upper back. Be sure to include it in your lower body day or back day. Below I’ve attached an infographic on correct deadlift set up. Try 5 sets of 5 reps to begin, with 90-120 seconds rest between sets.
This movement is great for the gamer as it helps to build upper back mass and strength as well as improve posture. For this variation we want to pull the rope high, aiming for the nose and keep the elbows high too. Go for 3 sets of 15 reps with a 60 seconds rest between each set. Place it towards the end of your upper body or back workout.
Let’s get the core working and the spine moving into some new ranges of motion. The cable twist is a great movement achieving all of the above. Keep the glutes and core lightly braced throughout the movement. Go for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps per side. Rest 60 seconds between each set.
Know someone that’s a gamer? Share the knowledge and forward this post to them.