Many of us have been in complete lockdown mode in recent months, or have only partaken in minimal physical sporting activities. For those of us lucky enough to have some kind of home gym set up, the impact hasn’t been so bad.
However, there are a great many individuals who must rely on team-based sports and activities to get their fitness fix, whether that’s football, netball or even cross fit.
As gyms open up again and sporting fixtures are reintroduced, we’re now faced with the challenge of getting ourselves back in shape and ready for action. We explore a few tips and recommendations for anyone looking to get back into sports but are concerned about being rusty or more prone to injury due to the time off.
Rushing back into a full 90 minutes of football is one of the easiest ways to injure yourself. Equally, if you’re expecting to perform exactly as you could 3-6 months ago for any sport or activity, you could be leaving yourself open to excessive strain or injury.
One example of this is how long distance runners develop shin splints when they go back to running 15K+ after an extended time on the couch. While we can benefit from a certain amount of muscle memory and long-term strength capabilities, it will only take a few weeks of inactivity for us to start to lose muscle.
Theoretically, it should be much faster for you to get back to your previous form than for a newcomer to achieve your level of strength or fitness when starting from scratch, but thinking that you can instantly reclaim your past performance abilities would be a mistake.
Take It Gradually
After several weeks or even months of not hitting the gym or playing sports, you’ll need to ease your body back into things gradually. This will help your body to rebuild its former strength and avoid overburdening certain parts of your body, which could lead to injury.
As well as implementing some pre-game cardio sessions, stretching and small doses of gameplay, we also recommend that you simply listen to your body as you go. Watch out for signals such as pain, tightness, or discomfort.
Ideally, go to the park with a few friends and run through some basic plays. Simulating real in game movements will help to retrain your body and mind for the kind of activity you’re going to be doing when you’re playing more competitively.
Incorporate Diversity into Your Fitness Regimen
If you are returning to sports, you’ll want to make sure you’ve done some good stretching and strengthening exercises too. You’ll be surprised how much you rely on multiple parts of your body for certain actions like just kicking a ball or swinging your arm with a tennis racket.
Your core and glutes are areas that will always be relied upon no matter what sport you’re playing, so it’s good practice to work on building strength in these areas.
Need Some Help?
Whether you feel like your body has seen better days and you’d like someone to help relieve some soreness or pain, or whether you’re looking to ease yourself back into competitive activity with some bodywork sessions, Acubody might be the perfect partner to get you back to form.
We can also offer some remedies for specific sports injuries or refer you to a specialist London sport injury clinic for rehabilitation or physical therapy sessions.