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Top Tips for A Great Training Session

If you read our previous blog on the importance of preseason training, you would know why it’s so important to train properly for your sport before returning to competition. Training allows you to build solid foundations for your fitness, agility and strength. It also gives you an opportunity to improve your technical ability, and ensure optimum performance during competition. Engaging in thorough training sessions will also dramatically reduce your risk of injury throughout the competitive season.


Now we will spend some more time going through each component of a training session in more detail so that you know exactly what you need to do to get the most out of your training sessions. The main components of your session should involve stretching, strengthening, fitness, endurance and sports specific skills.


1. Stretching


Stretching and flexibility training is important to allow your joints to move through their full range of motion. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible and lengthened. When your muscles are short and tight, they do not perform at their optimum level, which can predispose you to injury. Performing dynamic stretches prior to exercise has been shown to prepare your muscles for activity, and may also help to improve your performance. Some examples of dynamic stretches include high knees, alternating lunges and front kicks. 


2. Strengthening


Strength training is important to build muscle strength and also to address any muscle imbalances that you may have or biomechanics that need correcting. This will help to improve your performance. Your strength work should target the main muscle groups that are required for your sport. It can involve using equipment such as free weights, weight machines or resistance bands, or you can perform exercises that use your own body weight as resistance. 


3. Fitness


Cardiovascular training must be included to help increase your fitness. These are the exercises that get your heart pumping and increase your breathing rate. Cardiovascular training could involve running, cycling, swimming or stair climbing. Improving your cardiovascular fitness is essential in sports that require lots of running such as soccer or rugby.


4. Endurance


Endurance is similar to fitness, however it focuses more on your ability to do something for a longer period of time. Endurance training can also protect athletes from injury. When you get tired and your muscles fatigue, the biomechanics change and you can lose proper form, placing new stresses on the body. By engaging in endurance drills, your muscles will be trained to work at the desired intensity for longer, meaning they are less likely to fatigue and cause injury.



5. Sports Specific Drills


Depending on what position you play, you will need to spend more time working on specific drills in your training. For example, if you are required to perform quick changes of direction or speed you will need to do speed and agility drills. Whereas if your position involves more running, it’s important for you to work on increasing your fitness and endurance. Training is very specific and there is little crossover between activities. Therefore you need to ensure that what you train aligns with the requirements of your sport.



Take a look at the examples below for soccer and netball on how you would tailor your training depending on what position you play.


Soccer


If you are a midfielder you are required to do lots of running. Therefore it would be more valuable for you to focus on increasing your fitness with running drills. However if you play the goalie position, your role requires more side-to-side movements and changes of direction, so your sport specific drills would focus more on those aspects.


Netball


If you play centre, you will need to focus on cardiovascular fitness and running drills as you are required to do more running. For those who are shooters or play in defence, you will need to practice your ball skills as well as doing power drills to help improve your jumping and landing techniques.


How Physiotherapy Can Help Prepare You For Your Upcoming Competition


Physiotherapists are highly trained in assessing your muscle function, strength, flexibility, range of motion, stability and biomechanics. By assessing how you move, we can address any deficits you may have such as muscle imbalances, weakness, or poor motor control. We can prescribe you with an individually tailored exercise program to help target all your needs so that you are well equipped and ready to begin your sporting season. We can give you advice on injury prevention and help you adjust your training load to optimise your pre-season preparation.

If you had a niggling injury that was bothering you last season, and is still troubling you now, then it is time to seek professional advice before competition starts. Ignoring your pain can result in further injury that will take longer to recover.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we would be more than happy to help! Give us a call on 9875 3760 or email us info@wphphysio.com.au.



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