Surviving the Off Season
Flexibility & Stretching
Flexibility is always a great place to start, as this is generally overlooked when it comes to managing ourselves in a sports season.
- Set aside around 20-30minutes, two to three times a week to work on your flexibility
- If your sport is largely running based (Rugby Union/League, Soccer, or Hockey) then you would generally look to be increasing flexibility of the lower limbs. Static stretching (stretching while the muscle is resting) of your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves is the best place to start.
- For upper body dominant sports (swimming or throwing sports) it would be best focusing your time improving the flexibility around the shoulders and trunk regions.
Muscle weakness can be one of the main reason injuries occur. As a general rule, a tired/weak muscle often tightens up and as a result decreases the range of movement it needs to control. By implementing a simple strength program, whether gym based or at home into your off season, you’ll be ready to tackle pre-season head on. Improving your strength and biomechanics will reduce the risk of any unwanted injuries re-occurring during the season.
During the off season, it is important to continue some form of low-moderate intensity exercise to maintain a good level cardio-vascular fitness. By maintaining your fitness your preseason will be a breeze! Generally, cross training is an excellent way to maintain fitness. For example; swimming, cycling and rowing are great forms of exercise for running based sports as they have low lower limb loading. For sports such as swimming or any throwing sports, a good alternative is running or cycling giving your arms a much needed rest. With the holiday season in full swing, it means the dreaded preseason is fast approaching and returning to some sport specific training now is vital. It is important to remember this information is just general advice. If you have any questions or have any niggling injuries you would like addressed, give us a call on (07) 47 877 656 to book an appointment with one of our helpful Physiotherapists for a personalised and structured offseason program.