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The importance of off season training - Maintaining your greatness.

All season long you have put in the time and effort needed to grow and perform on a level your team needed you to be, but now the matches are over and the festive season food waits, but what each player may not realize is that there are 3 choices that lay before them.

1. Continue to train smart for the next season.

2. Go through the motions and work out once in a while in attempt to maintain their strength.

3. Do nothing and during the season training all of a sudden realize how out of shape they let themselves become and find themselves struggling to catch back up to where they need to be.

When the training is removed the body begins to reverse back to pre-training levels. This effect is known as detraining, BUT just as bad as doing nothing is, maintaining the same level of volume and intensity of training / workouts right throughout the year can quickly lead to over-training and mental burnout.

The key then, is to find a balance between recovery and the maintenance of fitness. Other, more general modes of training, known as cross-training can be used to allow active recovery while preserving a base level of fitness. What many athletes don’t realize is how quickly the body can go back to pre-training levels after periods of detraining when duration and intensity is reduced. Off season is arguably the most crucial time for an athlete to focus on maintaining training and preparing the body for the next season.

Maintaining 50-60% Fitness Takes Less Effort Than Starting From Scratch!

Goals of the off season include providing a base level of conditioning, preparing the body for more intense training, and combating muscle imbalances to reduce the risk of injuries. Often times in season the body experiences very repetitive movements and some muscles are worked more than others. During the off season we can emphasize increasing strength and mobility in the other muscles that don’t always get enough attention and can lead to injuries.

Every good workout starts with an appropriate warm-up and ends with a thorough cool down. Warming up properly can reduce your risk of injury and facilitate a good workout while cooling down properly is the first step toward full and speedy recovery.

Warming up should achieve several things:

· Increase core temperature

· Increase oxygenated blood ow to working muscles

· Increase functional flexibility

· Improve joint mobility

· Increase nervous system activation

· Decrease neural inhibition

· Increase mental focus

A good warm up should contain several different elements.

· Pulse raiser

· Joint mobility

· Dynamic stretches

· Movement prep

· Ramped practice sets

With or without your team you can work to prepare your body for the season to come, better preparation means that our coaches can have more effective training sessions.

Here are some exercise videos, ideas and routines to help with the off season that you can do alone or with a buddy.

Warm Up

Agility and Speed

Off Season Resistance Training Program

Sets: 2-3 Reps: 12-15 Weight: 50% 1RM

Push Up with Stability Ball and Medicine Ball

Start by placing your hands on a balance board and your feet on top of a stability ball. Move into a plank position and maintain your balance by extending your arms. Proceed to bend your elbows while maintaining your balance until your elbows are bent to about 90 degrees. Extend your elbows until you reach full extension. Keep your abs drawn in tight to maintain good technique.

Reverse Crunch with Stability Ball

Start position:

Lie with back on floor with hips flexed at 90′ and feet in air. Place a ball between your legs and squeeze with your lower legs. Leading with the heels towards the ceiling, raise glutes (butt) off floor. Return to start position. Remember keep legs from swinging to prevent momentum throughout the exercise.

One Leg Squat

Stand with feet hip width apart with knees slightly bent and toes pointing forward holding weight plates.

Start position:

Lift one foot off ground and extend leg forward. Extend arms forward at hip level. Lower body by flexing at the hips and knees. Upper body can flex forward at the hips slightly (~5′) during movement. Be sure to “sit back” so that knees stay over the feet. Once thigh is slightly above parallel (as shown) return to start position. Remember to keep head and back straight in a neutral position – hyper-extension of flexion may cause injury. Keep weight over the middle of foot and heel, not the toes. Keep abdominal tight throughout exercise by drawing stomach in toward spine.

Trunk Rotations with Toning Bar

Balance yourself using your knees on the ball and the toning bar placed on your shoulders. Keeping your trunk in an upright posture rotate your shoulders to each side. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Bent over Row with Stability Ball

Lie face down on a stability ball so that the ball is under your lower abdomen. Holding two dumbbells row them up towards your shoulders keeping your elbows out wide and back staying flat. Remember to pinch your shoulder blades together as you row and keep your upper body stable.

Back Extension on Ball

Lie face down on stability ball with knees and feet on floor. Stability ball placement should be at abdominal to lower chest region. With hands on chest, raise trunk 4-8 inches. Lower to start position. To increase intensity, position ball down towards hips, feet wide with knees off floor. Hands may be placed behind head and overhead to further increase resistance. To increase stability, place feet against wall or stationary object.

Lunge Crossover with Medicine Ball

Stand with feet hip width apart. Take left leg and step back approximately 2 feet standing on the ball of the foot.

Start position:

Feet should be positioned at a staggered stance with head and back erect and straight in a neutral position. Hold medicine ball in front of your chest. Lower body by bending at hip and knee until thigh is parallel to floor. Body should follow a straight line down towards the floor. As you are lunging reach to one side of the leg with the ball. Return to start position and repeat by reaching to the opposite side with the ball. Alternate or switch to other leg after prescribed reps.

Rear Deltoid Raise on Stability Ball

Begin by stabilizing yourself on top the ball using your lower leg.

Start position:

Hold DB in each hand with neutral grip (palms facing each other) and let arms straight down (perpendicular to floor). Lean forward slightly. With elbows slightly bent and facing the ceiling, raise DB’s to shoulder level in semi-circular motion and squeeze shoulder blades together at top of movement. Return to start position. Remember to keep head in a neutral position.

Side Kick with Balance Disc

Lie on side with body aligned and balance disc under waist. Place top hand on hip. Inhale. With bottom leg slightly bent and resting on floor, exhale and extend top leg forward until knee and foot are aligned with hip. Inhale as you bend top leg, then exhale as you extend it toward ceiling. Maintain neutral posture as leg moves. Perform the prescribed repetitions and repeat with the other side.

External Rotation with Toning Bar

Lie on side opposite of working arm.

Start position:

Grasp toning bar and flex elbow at 90′ keeping elbow in at side. Forearm should be slightly below parallel to floor. Rotate arm outward keeping elbow at 90′.4. Return to start position. Remember to keep elbow firmly secured to side. You may put a rolled towel between the elbow and side to facilitate rotation and secure form. Repeat with the other side.

Off Season Training Schedule

MON - Functional strength, core training, stability exercises. Swimming 20 mins

TUE - Rest

WED - Touch rugby, Badminton, tennis, squash, run etc. 30-60 mins

THU - Rest

FRI - Functional strength, core training, stability exercises. Cross trainer 20 mins

SAT - Rest

SUN - Rest

Your Coaches will thank you.

Until Next time

Jason Rogers

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