With gyms and schools closed around the nation, athletes are scrambling to figure out how to stay in shape and keep training while at home. Off-Season Athlete is here to help and asked coaches, physical therapists, and trainers for their best advice on how to make the most of this time at home.
Interestingly, many of our experts have similar advice so they must be important. Take them to heart and start implementing today.
Nate Leonard – Offensive Coordinator, Clear Lake High School (Houston, TX)
It is a great time to focus on body weight exercises/core exercises since no equipment is needed (situps, climb stairs in your house if you have them, push ups, bodyweight squats, lunges, wall sits) It’s also a great opportunity to increase flexibility since it is at the center of strength, speed, and injury prevention. Many people have access to the internet, and there are thousands of free workouts on YouTube, such as yoga, pilates, and cardio.
Use a jump rope if you own one, which allows you to improve footwork within a small area. Bodyweight exercises too easy? Use household items to increase resistance. Load your backpack with weight and wear it during exercise!
Athletes can also improve mentally as well. Most athletes have access to their game film and online playbooks. This would be a great time to become an expert in your sport. Mental quickness leads to physical quickness.
Brian Braddock – Off-Season Athlete Coach and Head Football Coach at St. Augustine High School (St. Augustine, FL)
One of the best things a teenager can do right now is set a schedule for themselves to follow each school day. I suggest a 4 hour window (8am -12pm) that includes getting up about the same time every day, breakfast, training time, and academic or learning time. This is a reasonable amount of time to allow freedom in the rest of the day but still ensure they are bettering themself and being productive.
If an athlete is trying to get recruited, they should also use extra down time to make sure their highlight film is perfectly updated. In addition to that, update social media apps such as twitter with your athletic vitals. College coaches are spending an inordinate amount of time right now scouring twitter for film.
Seth Magnani – PT, DPT, ATC – Orthopedic Physical Therapist (St. Johns, Florida)
Athletes should change their perspective from “I can’t play my sport so I won’t do anything” to “I’ll work to maintain my fitness and improve the areas I struggle in.” Embrace this season of rest by taking time to work on important aspects of fitness that athletes usually don’t make time for. Cross training, yoga, mobility work, stability and balance are important aspects of performance that are often neglected.
Core, hips and shoulder stability work is so important and easy to accomplish at home. Without these exercises an athlete’s risk of injury goes through the roof. Sometimes athletes think they are stronger than they really are because they’ve neglected these important movements.
HIIT workouts are an effective way to train at home because they are full of functional movements and provide metabolic conditioning to maintain your fitness level.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a week of workouts created by Seth.
Sarah Phillips – DPT, MTC, Physical Therapist (St. Augustine, FL)
During season, coaches often incorporate exercises involving multiple muscle groups to produce more power, therefore off season is a great time to perform exercises that isolate specific muscles to aid in injury prevention.
The biggest thing that we harp on for prevention of ACL injuries is to strengthen the gluteus medius in the hip. There is an app called ACL Play it Safe that gives plenty of exercises to help prevent knee injuries, and the off-season (or being out of sports) is the perfect time to do this. This kind of exercise routine should be completed 2-3 times a week with rest days in between.
Haley Mason – USA Weightlifting and Crossfit certified coach, Facility Manager Trinity Fitness (Ponte Vedra, FL)
I believe the importance of rest is extremely underrated, especially for off season athletes. However, as any athlete continues to keep their “A” game strong even when not competing the importance of building mental character is something that will stand the test of time with or without a future in sports.
Stair workouts are easily accessible and very effective. I personally have never been pushed more than when I’m looking up a set of stadium bleachers or a few flights of stairs. Simply sprint up a flight of stairs or bleachers (if you have safe access to it) and use the walk back down as your recovery time. Once you’re at the bottom turn and immediately run back up!! Repeat for 8 to 10 sets. The capacity to keep moving when your legs are tired is truly a test of “mind over matter”.
The other form of exercise to consider adding in right now is swimming if you have access to your own pool. It is such a functional and necessary tool for athletes and non-athletes alike! I love swimming for athletes because it increases their cardio or endurance capabilities all while allowing their body to have as little joint impact as possible. Simply swim laps or run in the pool back and forth.
Home Exercise Ideas
To help you get a more clear idea on how to train at home, Seth Magnani DPT, PT, mentioned above, has given suggestions on how to plan out a week of workouts. Remember, this is only a suggested and you should ensure your athlete is cleared to perform such exercises. Consult with your personal sports medicine team before beginning any training regimen.
We would love to have you join the Off-Season Athlete community of teen athletes, coaches and parents and give you a PDF download of the workout below. Please join our Email Newsletter to receive your copy. You will receive updates of new content on OffSeasonAthlete.com and special news on programs.
To create weights for your home workouts, try one of these DIY ideas:
- Fill empty water or juice jugs with water.
- Fill an empty back back with a weighted items.
- Use a full bag of mulch or potting soil like a sandbag.
- Use heavy cans.
You can also buy some equipment for home use that help tremendously:
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