By this time of year, those of us playing sport are well into our gruelling pre-season. For many, it’s a time to prepare for the oncoming season and for others this is a time to recover from an injury.
Why is pre-season so important?
“If you fail to prepare, you’ve prepared to fail!”
Preseason is a vital preparation block before matches begin, as it conditions our bodies for the demands of the long season ahead. If you’ve spent the off season on the couch, now is the time to get on the track! Interestingly, the more of preseason you complete, the lower your risk of injury!
Preseason is a great opportunity to work on those niggling injuries and build your capacity in the gym and on the track. More often than not, injuries occur due to inadequate loading of tissues and having a good preseason is key to preventing this.
Here are our top tips for preseason training:
Gradually increase your training loads
It is common to see injuries at this time of year because players go too hard too quickly. Ease your way into training and slowly build your training load.
If you are experiencing pain with certain activities like running for example, preseason is the perfect opportunity to rest or modify loads while you address contributing factors with graded exposure to the aggravating activity. Working on other areas of training and your body during this period will help to build tolerance of the injured areas to the demands of in season training and matches and will likely help to prevent the injury from returning during the season. Completing sport specific exercises relevant to your sport will also be important to build the specific attributes and strengths required for your sport.
Get in the gym
Building strength and improving your conditioning in the gym is also key to preventing injury and building the capacity of tissues to meet the demands of rigorous sport. It also helps to improve your performance on the field.
Image credit: afl.com.au
Don’t forget recovery!
Increased training loads means tissues need time to recover. Adequate hydration, nutrition, sleep, warm ups and cool downs are vital.
Listen to your body
Managing fatigue and getting any niggles or injuries looked at is key to having a good preseason and hitting the ground running in round 1.
By the end of a good preseason, you will have built a higher tolerance to the stress of competitive sport and a strong base, with better movement quality to take you through the season and hopefully a finals campaign too!
If you’d like to improve your pre-season or are carrying an injury through your pre-season and don’t know where to start, contact us at Revive Physio on (03) 9391-2600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.