A Beginner's Guide to Conditioning
Conditioning, for some of us that word sounds like nails on a chalk board. Well unless you put air right in front of it (air conditioning). All jokes aside conditioning is important regardless of the sport you do. Even pure lifters can benefit from some amount of conditioning. After all it helps make your heart healthy and a healthy heart keeps you lifting long into your old age. There are many forms of conditioning and they do not all have to involve running. Although running is amazing.
I Do Not Want To Waste Muscle
For my lifters out there I recommend doing some "muscle building" conditioning. Which means it is just you and a barbell or some weighted exercise. You could do a 9 minute circuit of Cleans and Sit Ups which will increase your core strength and your leg strength, while beefing up your cardio a bit. It could be as simple as a yoke walk, sled drag, or sprints. Just set up a distance and weight that you can do and get that heart racing. If it's good enough for Strongmen it is good enough for you.
Just Starting Out
If you are a new athlete or an athlete that might want to change things up a bit then here is some advice. Some people absolutely love running find a comfortable pace and keep up with it for a half mile or full mile. If you are someone that does not like running then you still have other options. Stationary bikes are amazing for you, they are easy on the joints, and they also help build up your strength in your legs and knees. If cycling of any kind is out of the question then I recommend swimming as an alternative. Swimming counts as resistance training because you are fighting the water to move forward, which means you will build or at the very least maintain muscle. There is a laundry list of other exercises out there, but the last one I want to talk about is the Rowing machine. Rowing does a great job at hitting the posterior chain and works your back muscles and hamstrings. I promise 20 minutes of rowing will feel like you have rowed the Nile.
You Have Options
Keep an open mind when it comes to your fitness. Try something new out everything will help make you a better overall athlete. Strong conditioning gives you a good base for any sport you want to do.