Returning to Pre-Season Training: 5 Key Exercises

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Pre-season training is nearly back – that time of year where local footy and netball club’s gruel it out and seem to destroy their body on the back of no training. Unfortunately, given the circumstances which see most players go from 0-100 in a small amount of time, this is a period where susceptibility to injury is high. 

RAD has put together 5 key exercises for athletes to complete prior to returning and throughout the pre-season period, with a view of increasing strength and resilience in critical areas required for both football and netball. 

Exercise 1 – Groin Squeeze

3 sets of 5 (5 second squeezes)

The adductors are critical in aiding any lateral movement. The groin squeeze can be completed with any form of ball placed between the knees. From here, draw both knees in to squeeze the ball, holding the squeeze for 5 seconds. It is important to build intensity to prepare the adductors; on the first set build in with intensities of 80% effort, 90% effort, before squeezing the ball as hard as possible for the remaining reps. 

Exercise 2 – Single Leg RDL

3 sets of 8 each side

The eccentric contraction of the hamstrings during the single leg RDL is a great tool for preparing for high speed running. Stand on one leg with a soft knee (i.e. knee not locked out), keep your torso up tall, and drive the heel of the free leg towards the sky, attempting to make a T like shape with the body. Move nice and slow through the range, trying to avoid any bending of the knee or back. 

Exercise 3 – Split Squat

3 sets of 10 each side

The split squat will allow us to load up the quads which will receive a lot of use during any jumping, running or kicking. From a split stance, keep your body up tall and lower the back knee towards the ground, always thinking about the majority of your weight being placed through the front heel. 

Exercise 4 – Single Leg Calf Raise

3 sets of 12 each side (2 sec squeeze)

Standing on one leg with some balance support (i.e. next to a wall), push right up onto your toes and tense your calf. Hold for 2 seconds at the peak of the contraction and control down before moving into the next rep. 

Exercise 5 – Side Plank

3 sets of ~ 30 – 60 seconds each side

Lie on your side in a straight line, bridging up with your elbow and feet as the two points of contact on the floor, or alternatively regressing the exercise by bridging from bent knees. Maintain a straight line through the body from shoulder to ankle, avoiding sagging or bending at the hips.

How often?

Completing these exercises two times per week will be a massive help in preparing your body for the demands of pre-season. You can complete them as a session all at once or spread them throughout the week – whatever fits you schedule.

Questions?

As always if you have any questions regarding these exercises or anything physical preparation, get in touch with the team at RAD today.

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