Strength and conditioning are vital in sports. When done correctly, strength and conditioning routines help strengthen supporting muscles, even out muscle imbalance, and increase mobility. These also enhance coordination and peripheral skills. For many people, strength and conditioning are primarily done to stop injury.
Individuals engaged in grassroot sports like recreational sports hosted and facilitated by local clubs and sports organizations can also enjoy the benefits of strength and conditioning.
By definition, grassroot sport refers to “physical leisure activity, organized and non-organized, practiced regularly at non-professional level for health, educational or social purposes.” Such sport provides a wide range of advantages like improved physical and mental well-being among its participants. Within the community, grassroot sport helps tackle crime and anti-social behavior by acting as a healthier diversion, supporting behavior change, breaking down barriers, and teaching new skills. As a result, there’s a reduced crime within the community.
However, injuries may also happen in grassroot sports. This is where strength and conditioning come in.
By definition, strength training is moving the joints through a range of motion against resistance, requiring muscles to expend energy and contract forcefully to maneuver the bones. Conditioning workouts target your whole body, using different muscles to strengthen, shape, and tone your body.
Strength and conditioning exercises like sprints and polymetric circuit training can help address injuries like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears that are common among the youth. Single leg balance exercises reduce the risks of injuries to the ankles and knees, while rotator cuff and shoulder exercises relieve shoulder pain and tightness.
Those with limited access to weight rooms have several options and tools at their disposal. Canned goods, milk jugs, and paint cans could also be used as weights while doing exercises. Stairs are perfect for step-up exercises! Exercises like burpees, jump squats, split lunge jumps, push-ups, and bicycle crunches are good conditioning workouts that don’t require any equipment and can be done anywhere and anytime.
Here are some safety guidelines when performing strength and conditioning exercises:
- Warm-up. Prevent muscles and tendons from getting tight and stiff.
- Always start slowly – Be patient and allow your body to adapt to strength training.
- Stay in proper form. Keep your body in proper alignment while exercising to prevent injury.
- Keep it gradual. Start with light weights or resistance and develop proper form before increasing weight or resistance.
- Rest periodically. Strength training the same muscle group without enough rest between sessions can result in overtraining. Let your muscles relax, repair, and recover during rest.
In a gist, there’s a way to develop faster, fitter, and stronger players in grassroot sports – that is, with the right strength and conditioning.