For example, in equestrian competitions, you don’t know which horse you’ll be able to ride until the day of the event, so you practice while riding a variety of horses so that you can run with any horse. Horses also have temperaments, so you have to adapt how to ride each horse.
Also, fencing is basically practiced with other people, just like the real thing, and I don’t really practice alone.
Depending on the day, there are various menus for swimming and running, such as long-distance swimming and running, and interval training focused on speed.
——Will each training be useful in other competitions?
There is. For example, stamina cultivated through running and swimming is utilized in fencing and other competitions. I think it’s precisely because we’re always running hard that we’re able to keep our concentration in the second half of the match.
Also, the trunk and sense of balance honed through equestrianism are also useful in running and fencing. I can run without breaking the axis, and when attacking with fencing, I am less likely to lose my balance, and if I lose my balance, I can quickly return.
——Even though they are completely different sports, they actually influence each other. Are there any trainings that are common to all sports?
I do weight training once or twice a week, and I also do strength training or bodyweight training before swimming. I am particularly conscious of training my core (*).
If you can train your core and use it well, you will be able to move more efficiently by reducing the burden on your arms and legs.
Also, weight training is not just about training your body, it is also about being conscious of which muscles you use, including your core. If you are aware of which muscles you are using during practice, you will be able to use the muscles you want to use and maintain a stable form during the actual performance.
On the other hand, if you don’t pay attention to your muscles and the muscles you don’t use usually get tired, it’s evidence that your form is out of order, so it’s an opportunity to correct your form.
*Trunk training: Training that strengthens the body, excluding the head and limbs (limbs). It is common to train the inner muscle in the deep layer, not the outer muscle in the surface layer. Develop your sense of balance, increase your stability, and use your body more efficiently.
——Please also tell us what kind of training you do before swimming.
Before swimming, I do bodyweight training (*) that doesn’t use equipment, such as push-ups and V-shaped sit-ups.
Training here has a strong purpose to be more conscious of the sense of the body. It’s hard to be conscious of muscles in the water, so I stimulate the big muscles before swimming so that they can be used while swimming.
I train for about 10 to 15 minutes per hour, with about 10 different types of training.
*Self-weight training: Training that loads the body with your own body weight without using tools. Since no tools are used, it is easy to adjust the load on the muscles, and injuries are less likely to occur.
Core training recommended for women
——This time, I would like you to tell the readers about trunk training.
I think the advantage of trunk training is that it doesn’t increase your size compared to muscle training. Many women are reluctant to wear the clothes they want to wear because their muscles grow bigger by doing muscle training.
Core training mainly trains the inner muscles, which are deep inside the body and do not easily grow, so it is difficult to grow bigger even if you train them.
I think it’s a merit to be able to do it casually because it’s all about the menu that you can do at home.
——How do you stay motivated to keep training?
I like training, so I haven’t been very conscious of motivation, but I think it will be motivated if I realize my growth.
For example, a menu that you could only do 5 times at first, but if you continue training and can do it 10 times, it’s a big growth.
For those who don’t feel much change in their daily lives, continuing training will help them realize their own growth and give life a sense of purpose.
——Please tell us if there is anything you are conscious of in order to increase the effectiveness of your training.
After training, I try to drink protein as soon as possible. I think it’s easier to take protein at home, so please try to take it within 30 minutes after training.
Also, in order to recover from fatigue, it is important to take in nutrients from your regular meals.
However, it is difficult to get enough nutrients from food alone, so supplements are recommended.
Top athletes teach 3 core exercises you can do at home
After the interview with Saito, she told us three core exercises that non-athlete women can do at home.
The content is something you can work on at home, so please check it out and try it today.
Trunk training ①
First, turn sideways as shown in the picture and support your body with your left hand and both feet.
At this time, be aware of the position of your hips so that both feet and head are straight. When you can maintain your posture, hold a plastic bottle filled with water with your right hand and raise it toward the ceiling.
If you just need to maintain your posture, you don’t have to hold a PET bottle, and if you want to increase the load, try a large PET bottle.
Pass the right hand holding the plastic bottle under the left armpit and bring it back as far as possible. Raise your arms toward the ceiling again and return to the starting position. This movement is repeated.
Perform 10 to 15 times on both the left and right sides, and perform 1 to 3 sets per day.
If you can afford it, bend your lower arm and support your body with your elbow to increase the load.
The next workout starts in a push-up position with your legs slightly apart.
Bend your elbows and knees to lift your body, then open your hands and feet slightly.
Open your hands and feet little by little over 5 times, and finally open your hands and feet as much as you can as shown in the picture below.
After opening both hands and feet, return to the original position in the same way. “Jump 5 times to open, 5 times to jump back” as 1 set, and 10 times as 1 set. Please continue with 1 to 3 sets a day as a guide.
For those who find it difficult to jump 5 times, start with “Open both hands and legs in one jump, and return in one.” As you get used to it, increase the number of jumps to 2, 3, and so on.
If you find it difficult to jump with both hands and feet suddenly, put your knees on the ground and try using only your arms.
Trunk training ③
The next training uses the wall. From a push-up position, place your feet against the wall and keep your body horizontal.
If this posture is difficult for you, try placing your feet high on the wall. However, be aware of the position of your hips so that your feet and head are straight.
Once your posture is stable, place your left hand on your right shoulder and return it to the ground.
Now do the same with your right hand and repeat 10 times, alternating left and right. Again, try doing 1 to 3 sets a day.
If you can afford it, lift your right hand and left leg at the same time and return, then lift your left hand and right leg and repeat. Even if you raise your hands and feet, be conscious that your hips do not go up or down. You can strengthen the load on the trunk more.