Return to Play; Post Lockdown and Beyond

One of our greatest strengths is the ability to adapt. We did it when lockdown began in March 2020 and we’ve continued to do so. Whether you have a specific fitness goal or pain in your day to day life, getting back to normal’ isn’t going to happen overnight.

It certainly feels like the the world is returning to some sort of normality and to many of us, this means a return to our beloved sport, gym or simply access to more activities. 

As this starts to happen, we will have an array of choices: some old training choices that we have desperately missed, some new discoveries from the lockdown period and lots of new options from the fitness industry. 

Our Strength & Conditioning (S&C) team have written a series of blogs which cover: the physical qualities that may have been detrained during lockdown, how training should be performed to achieve long term success and how a progressive programme can be implemented. 

The aim of this short blog is to give some key considerations on how to return to your normal’:

  • How much movement/​running is involved in your sport/​life?
  • What speed of movement is involved? 
  • What is the volume of fast activity, compared to moderate and low-level activity? 
  • Is there any change of direction? 
  • Is there any rotational movement? 
  • Is there any contact? 
  • What level of skill is involved (passing, catching, hitting a ball)? 
  • How much resistance training were you doing? 
  • Which areas have a high incidence of injury? 
  • Do you have a history of specific injuries?
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When these questions have been answered, we can then consider: what has been missing since the lockdown began?’. 

This will give you an idea of where your focus will lie, allowing you to plan your training accordingly. 

The next step will be tricky; assessing how much of these physical qualities may have been lost during lockdown and our time out of our old-normal’ routine. 

For example, how much are you down on where you were before? How much work do you need to get back to where you were? In short, the answer is less than you think, especially if you have a strong training history, but implementing a successful training plan after a change like this is hard. Finding the optimal route back to your full fitness requires these points above to be considered. 

This leads us nicely into our next blog, Detraining Effects on Strength Characteristics’ by S&C Coach James Phillips, discussing the levels of de-training you might expect.