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April 23, 2013

Take advantage of off-season to train

Off-season training is important for any athlete to be successful in a certain sport.

An effective training regimen can also help prevent injuries when the upcoming season starts. General fitness should be kept throughout the entire year. However, specific training can begin as early as eight weeks before the start of pre-season. There are numerous benefits to participating in some type of off-season conditioning program, such as an athletic camp.

BENEFITS

One benefit includes acclimation of the body to environmental conditions of the specific sport (such as heat and humidity).

Other advantages are adaptations to the body, such as strength and power, as well as increased resistance to injury.

In addition, an individual’s aerobic capacity can improve, which can ultimately influence an athlete’s potential during the regular season. Increasing a person’s maximal oxygen consumption could help recovery time and increase stamina. This is crucial in sports like soccer, football and basketball. Improper, or lack of off-season, training could put the health and safety of the athlete at risk.

If proper conditioning is neglected, a person could also regress in fitness.

WORKING ON WEAKNESS

Off-season training gives athletes a chance to work on areas of their bodies that tend to be weak or susceptible to injury. Muscular imbalance can increase risk of injury.

Weakness falls into one category of movement deficits. One such example is core weakness, which is exhibited when an individual walks or runs and has an exaggerated shoulder sway. Other movement deficits could include joint instability, postural issues, and lack of mobility and flexibility. Instability issues likely result from muscular weakness around a joint, whether it be an ankle or knee. Postural issues, such as kyphosis (hunched back) and lordosis (excessive arching of lower back) could be caused by weakness and tightness on opposite sides of the thorax and pelvis, respectively.

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