One of the big issues for those who need to stay in shape when basketball season has ended involves maintaining conditioning and strength. While strength can be easily kept up to part with basic weightlifting and free weight exercises, conditioning is another matter. As soon as a person comes off the season and stops running up and down the court every day, the body starts to relax and reduce the need for exertion capacity. To maintain a respectable level of conditioning off-season without getting injured before the next season, a person needs to engage in activities that will help the body recuperate while still keeping it at a peak performance level.
Unlike just wading in the pool and floating around, a regimen of hard swimming exercises daily can be extremely helpful for off-season fitness. First, it maintains air capacity and the ability to perform a high level of aerobic activity for a sustained period. Second, it gives the legs and hips a chance to heal from the pounding of the court since swimming involves a very low impact on the body. Third, it definitely works the upper body while forcing the leg muscles to work in new ways they don’t normally follow when running and playing basketball. If followed with a strict schedule of laps, timing and style of swimming, water exercises can maintain condition fitness very well.
Track and Field
Ask anyone who plays regular basketball, and he will tell you he runs miles every game. Off-season the same running and leg conditioning can be maintained with basic track and field routines. With the availability of a local high school or college track field, a player can easily perform a regular routine of conditioning and aerobic activity to maintain speed, endurance and breathing. While this approach works the legs, it can be alternated every other day with swimming to allow the body to heal and not overwork the joints during the off-season.
Wildly popular with a program in most suburban locations, cross-fit exercise is heavily focused on strength building and speed maintenance. The program is regularly used by athletes as well as law enforcement and general fitness fans who want overall peak conditioning, not just exercise in one discipline. The program probably best described as a boot camp exercise regimen on level 10. Not only does it increase general body health and fitness, cross-fit systems also engage in overall body strength for extreme performance on a regular basis. For off-season players who want peak performance on day 1 of return to basketball, a local cross-fit program may be the ticket.
Above all, during off-season don’t forget to rest. The body can’t go 100 percent every day of the year. It needs time to recuperate and rebuild. Changing out exercise styles helps tremendously, creating new ways for the body to perform.
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