Training at a gym has its advantages. Experienced coaches, tons of equipment, the motivation of working out with others, and plenty of space to do your work.
Your home workouts may not provide any of those things, yet you still can get a lot done with the right approach.
Between our own clients and those of friends within the industry, a few noticeable trends are cropping up that you may want to avoid in your pursuit to stay strong and fit at home.
Here are a few simple changes that will help you avoid pitfalls, and drive better results:
Doing Too Much Will Soon Lead To Problems
An environment with more downtime and no where to go can lead the ambitious and energetic athlete to do too much training. It's an easy trap to fall into, thinking that just continuing to exercise more and more will lead to better results.
And to an extent, that is true. However, there will come a tipping point where all that exercise will lead to chronic aches and pains that will become hard to get rid of down the road.
By all means, we want you to stay active and working hard. But make sure to listen to your body and the warning signs it may give you at some point. If your joints start aching in places they never did before, it is a telltale sign to cut back on the type of workouts you're doing now.
Variety Will Limit Overuse Issues
Strength training for athletes age 14 and up should be, at most, a 4 or 5 day per week thing.
High intensity conditioning doesn't need to be more than 4 days per week.
And jogging? Ideally you'd never do it - here's an old Power Source blog post explaining why - but if you do please keep it to a reasonable amount.
Some days a good 30 minute stretching session is the best thing you can do for your athletic future, easy as it may seem.
Keeping your conditioning up is important, but if you lose all your strength it will only take you so far. The reverse is also true, some kids need to put the weights down for a couple days and get moving a bit more.
The key here is the same as it always is - work all areas of the athletic spectrum. In our current circumstances, though, it is even easier to fall into predictable patterns. Look to shake things up starting today if you're out of balance.
Speed Training Is Huge Right Now!
To play fast you need to train fast. So many kids who aren't doing speed work are going to get back on the field and look noticeably slower.
Do you want to be that kid, or the one who blows by them?
For those who want more technical and structured training, we are posting a series of at-home speed workouts within this blog post:
But if you don't want to go through something that formal, just get out and sprint! Do some hill sprints, shuttles, run around with your dog, or cat, whatever.
Move fast every day for at least a few minutes.
Not Motivated To Train At All? This Is For You
On the total opposite end of the spectrum, many kids have lost motivation to move entirely.
There can be so many reasons for this, but in almost all circumstances it is because the thing they enjoyed most about being active before is not there now.
For many, it is the social interaction with others. For some, it is the competitive aspect of going up against an opponent. And perhaps the reason is even deeper, with worry about the future or just a feeling of genuine sadness and anxiety due to how things have shifted so quickly.
My advice for anyone in this group is first to have a parent or adult close to them talk, judgement-free, about what might be bothering them. For reasons well beyond success in athletics, this can yield some critical insights.
From the exercise standpoint, starting small and building momentum would be the best way to go. 10 minutes per day of running stairs, running sprints outside, jumping rope, things like that are easy ways to start. And this should be done in the morning! It becomes a mountain of mental effort if you put it off all day.
Then build on it, stretch the 10 minutes to 20. Add some pushups in there. Keep things positive and make it fun!
When it comes to staying prepared as an athlete, the Goldilocks and the 3 Bears story is incredibly apt.
Too much or too little won't work, finding balance in-between the extremes leads to a happy ending.