With the turn of the millennium, the sport of darts experienced a tremendous upswing, which still continues 20 years later. Due to this upswing darts became more and more popular and changed its image from a pub sport to a professional sport. This required many steps on the part of the associations to gain the respect they wanted. Since darts is now recognized as a professional sport, many players are now preparing themselves accordingly. In the past, the focus was on beer bellies, but now a new generation is pushing its way to the top of the world, and is increasingly concerned with the topic of darts fitness.
So in this blog post we want to talk about the importance of fitness in darts and how you can counteract unpleasant back pain and sore muscles in the arm with strength training.
It is only through a young, new generation of darts players that the issue has gained in importance. For a long time health in darts was not really relevant for the players - darts had anyway the image of the alcohol-rich and dirty pub sport. Today, however, darts training no longer takes place only in front of the disc, but also in the gym. But why is this so important? There are two reasons here.
The first reason is almost certainly the professionalization and increasing prize money in darts. As a result, in order to prepare perfectly for tournaments, players also keep themselves physically fit. It is not uncommon to play seven or eight hours of darts on a long tournament day. Here, the back or the arm can draw attention to itself over time by certain signs of wear. It is all the more important to counteract these problems with regular training.
The second aspect is also shown by problems of current dart players. Especially Mervyn King and Gary Anderson have again and again problems with their backs. Back pain in darts is no longer new to many players, so they also do special dart fitness back training for darts. Especially the young, new generation of players is demonstrating this. In the meantime, it is no longer rare to see real athletes on the board (for example, Gerwyn Price or Josh Payne). For these players, physical fitness can make the difference between victory and defeat in a long match. So: Not only dart training at the oche, but also in the gym.
Especially the back offers a large attack surface for physical pain in darts. Among other things, this is related to the posture in darts. The back is enormously strained by the same posture over and over again. Precisely because many players lean forward with the upper body before throwing, there is a permanent tension in the upper body, which is aimed at the back. So for those who now earn their living with darts for years, the health of the back is essential.
But what can you do to avoid similar problems as the professionals? We would like to give you two good examples in advance. First, there's Mervyn King, who has been struggling with back pain for decades. Not infrequently, these occur during long matches. As soon as the head no longer concentrates on throwing darts, but on the pain in the back, the match is actually over. Gary Anderson also belongs to the problem group. Last year the Scot even had to cancel his participation in the Premier League due to back problems. Here it becomes clear what effects this can have - in the end then also financially.
Many players now use special back training in darts to prevent such consequential damage caused by playing the sport at an early stage. A good example for this is among others the German darts pro Martin Schindler who keeps his back fit by individual training several times a week. Martin Schindler also belongs to the generation that is currently revolutionizing the sport of darts. A healthy diet, no alcohol, regular fitness training - unthinkable in the past, now the order of the day. And it's paying off, because the young, wild ones, as they are often called, have long since fought their way past the older generation.
But what exactly can you do to prepare your back for the sport of darts in the best possible way. The lower back is especially stressed when playing darts. We give here two exercises that you can do regularly without much effort to strengthen the back at least a little.
Exercise number 1: The sagging of the back. For example, lean against an ordinary door that is closed. Now let your body sag. You push your hips forward and hold this position for a few seconds. Repeat this 20 times and do three sets.
Exercise number 2: Turning the upper body. For exercise number two, all you have to do is stand, stretch your arms out to the sides of your body and turn your upper body in to one side without changing your stance. Once you are completely turned in, hold this position for one minute and then switch by turning your upper body completely to the other side to continue the exercise there. Three repetitions per side are sufficient.
Just by doing these small exercises you can achieve a lot and the back pain from darts will disappear. If this is not enough, we recommend going to the gym or to a physiotherapist, who can create an individual dart fitness training plan for you.
Especially at the beginning, it is not uncommon for amateur players to complain about sore muscles from darts. First of all, there is of course a very simple solution: play, play and play again. By playing often and repeating the arm movement you reduce the soreness in the arm significantly. Nevertheless, it happens again and again that the muscle soreness returns after a few days of darts break. To prevent this, it makes sense to do regular arm training for darts.
Especially the triceps are challenged by the stretching movement in the arm. To train them, you can, for example, lie on your back, take an object as heavy as possible in your hands and bring it to your head. From there, slowly stretch your arms in the air with the object in your hands. Repeat this 12 times and do three sets - preferably regularly. And the sore muscles will be gone.
Important: The heavier the object, the greater the effect. However, the object should not weigh too much. The correct and clean execution of the dart fitness exercise is the main focus here.
Also make sure that the upper arms always stay in the same place. Only the forearms may move upwards.
You can find these exercises and other helpful tips in our new e-book. 53 pages full of motivation, tips, help and training plans as well as a smart Excel spreadsheet to control your training results.