Off-season conditioning is more than getting in the weight room and hitting the track. Identifying your strengths and weakness and getting back to basics is crucial to getting the most out of your off-season.
Do a squat…where do you feel it? Do a push up…where do you feel it? Did you know there are right and wrong answers to these questions? Based on your answers it’s possible to figure out where your weak areas are, and what injuries you may be prone to. It also means that by strengthening where you’re weak you can potentially avoid injury!
Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to think where energy would best be spent this off-season. I suggest taking it back to basics. Injury is becoming more and more prominent in our sport and a lot of it has to do with improper movement patterns, all of which can be fixed but not without a lot of focus and repetition.
Every movement pattern builds upon a simpler one. Consider a layup. You have running, jumping, and landing. Now, if you have a player whose knees invert on a simple bodyweight squat, their knees will likely invert on a squat jump.
Now imagine you have them do a single leg squat jump, if their knee inverts, that could spell catastrophe for their poor hip, knee, or ankle. Add momentum to that single leg squat jump, like you have going into a layup, do those joints even stand a chance?
It only take 300-500 reps to create a new habit, BUT it takes 3,000-5,000 reps to break an old one. Let’s start breaking those bad habits so when the season comes, you can focus on working skills and your players will have a super strong base… literally!
In future posts in this off-season conditioning series, I’ll break down main exercises, what they should like, what the main muscle recruited should be, and how to cue proper muscle recruitment. I will also go over how to progress and how to put corrective exercises in a simple 10-15 minute daily routine.