Symmetry Blog

Keeping fit during the Off-season

Symmetry Physio - Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Tips to help you maintain your fitness



Tips for keeping fit during the Off Season for AFL/soccer players

When the footy/soccer season comes to an end it’s imperative to not let your fitness completely go while you give your body a much-needed rest! It’s easy to get a little lazy during this period particularly if you’re coming off a tough season, however, if you do absolutely nothing you open yourself up to injury over the pre-season. Here are some tips to help you maintain some fitness through the offseason period and some important things to remember during this phase.

Given the emphasis on running during football it’s very important to keep some level of aerobic fitness and in particular running. Given during pre-season an athlete’s running load will skyrocket, it’s important to get some runs on the board before this to slowly build it up. If you go into pre-season on the back of no running, that’s when overload injuries can occur- i.e Achilles tendinopathy just to name a common one. It doesn’t have to be super high intensity, as long as you get a couple of runs in per week at moderate intensity, you will still stop the decline in your muscles and aerobic fitness.

Gym- It’s very hard to build strength in season, particularly in the legs given an athlete’s high training and game load, so the off-season is the perfect time to get into the gym and work on strength/hypertrophy. You might be a bit sore in the legs the following day but since you won’t have training or games this why it’s a great time to get in the gym and work on those quads and gluts etc.


Cricket/tennis- If gym and running  sounds a bit mundane on a beautiful summers day, cricket and tennis might suit you more. There will be plenty of running involved and plenty of  volume, and it’s a great way to enjoy some training with friends and teammates.

Train as a Group- If you’ve got a specific weakness in your game be it aerobic fitness, strength, or skills etc. This is the time to work on it. Once pre-season training rolls around again training will resume and it can be harder to work on specific for example- lower limb strength. Work on these hard in the off-season so you’re prepared come day one of pre-season.



Physio- If you’ve been carrying an injury through the season, it’s very important to get this looked at afterwards. The off-season is a perfect time to knock this on the head and work with your physio to build up strength in the affected area so you’re prepared for the pre-season and actual season. If it gets left, the same injury will show up later down the track when training, and it will be very hard to treat without adjusting the training load and backing off your running. So get to the physio nice and early and work on those injuries!

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