An athlete’s first priority during the off-season should be building a foundation of sufficient functional movement before trying to progress with training for performance or sport-specific skill – this will decrease the risk of injury and prevent compromising sport-performance.
How do you know if your functional movement is inadequate, adequate, or optimal? By completing an FMS screen!
Functional Movement System Screen
All athletes wanting to improve their performance and decrease chance of injury should complete a screening and a personalized corrective exercise plan.
A Functional Movement System (FMS) screen assesses mobility, stability, and injury potential. It identifies limitations and imbalances – even ones the athlete may not be aware of!
Once the screen is complete, the athlete will be given a 4-6 week exercise plan to help correct those areas of dysfunctional movement. The athlete will gain the fundamentals of exercise before trying to go to the next level.
FMS builds a great foundation for anyone being assessed, and we all know that having a good, stable, and reliable foundation is the key to success!
Strength and Conditioning
During the off-season, there should also be a big increase in intensity and specificity.
The nature of sport requires an athlete to react quickly with confidence and have the ability to perform dynamically. Athletes do not gain this ability simply by executing barbell work, lifting on stationary machines, or playing the actual sport. A specific conditioning program prepares an athlete for a level of physical ability needed for peak performance.
Specific workouts should be performed 2-3 sessions or more per week. Focus should be at 90% max effort, hard but not measured. When working at 97% max it should be all out but at a relaxed state. That last 3% is what we see on the field.
Off-Season Example Schedule
Consistency is essential for improving flexibility, mobility, athleticism, and overall performance. To make things easy, here’s an example of a weekly off-season schedule.
- Monday: Train
- Tuesday: Train + Corrective Exercise
- Wednesday: Recovery (Yoga Recovery or Yoga Dynamic)
- Thursday: Corrective Exercise
- Friday: Train
- Saturday: Corrective Exercise
- Sunday: Recovery (Yoga Recovery or Yoga Dynamic)
There are many on-demand Yoga Recovery and Yoga Dynamic classes available on YAX Online! Not a member yet? Sign up for a 7-day free trial. (Discounts available for teams!)