Matt Durant, athletic department strength and conditioning coordinator, has been keeping University of La Verne athletes working out while sheltering in place – via Instagram.
Durant started a weekly series of home workouts a month ago on the athletic department’s Instagram page.
The series, titled “(Home) Body by Durant” focuses on proper workout techniques to stay in shape with limited workout resources.
The Instagram page, @ulvathletics, features a new video each week of Durant focusing on a different workout fundamental.
He typically has his sons, or an alum, demonstrate for the visual, while he explains why and how they are doing what they are doing.
“I am now trying to expand a little more with some more education behind it,” Durant said. “So a parent can do it with their kids and get more out of it.”
Despite his work on this, Durant said the transition to virtual teaching has been a challenge.
Durant, with the entire University of La Verne faculty, had a week to get his classes up and running online following the March 13 announcement that the campus would close and all teaching would be delivered online through the end of the academic year, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and statewide shelter-in-place mandates.
“It’s forced me to think outside the box, and how can I give these people something in an easy form?” Durant said. “I do better face-to-face, but I have embraced the challenge and I’m trying to have fun with it.”
In addition to the Instagram video series, Durant also sends specific workout videos to his athletes via text message. He sends three videos that target workouts specific to that sport for the week. The videos involve conditioning and workouts that do not need equipment.
Ayana Mier, freshman hitter for the women’s volleyball team, said that in addition to her team workouts, she likes to add in Durant’s Instagram workouts to not only stay in shape, but also better herself as an athlete.
“During quarantine, this is a perfect time to focus on yourself and work on yourself as you see fit,” Mier said. “I felt this was a perfect time to workout more and to get in more shape to prep for volleyball season. They’re very helpful in gaining muscle because although gyms aren’t open I think body weight exercises are very good at building muscle and strength.”
Emily Cohen, freshman education major, said that these workouts have been a great opportunity for her to workout and get stronger in the recent abundance of free time she has.
“I’ve definitely noticed strength in areas I haven’t considered myself to be strong before such as my arms,” Cohen said. “I’ve been learning how to do a proper push-up and they’ve gotten easier.”
Cohen added that she hopes to gain more overall strength and to learn how to properly perform many of the exercises she has been doing wrong for years.
Anthony Avila, athletics communication director, said he discussed the idea of a workout series with Durant and that Durant has run with it.
“Keeping that connection is important,” Avila said. “So if we can do that with some fun videos that help people stay healthy and active while showing them the proper techniques, then that’s great.”
Durant added that he hopes his viewers gain insight to what the student athletes go through on a daily basis as well as providing fun new challenges they can do with friends and family.
Be sure to go check out and follow La Verne Athletics’ Instagram page @ulvathletics for daily updates on the University’s athletes and weekly workout videos by coach Durant.
Noelle Blumel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.