All athletes get banged up during the season, an inevitable consequence of battling with opponents and performing at the limits of their capabilities. But is being sore or bruised a reason to skip a workout? The answer is no.
Regularly working out in-season is critical if you want to maintain the strength gains you made during the off-season. (Learn more about in-season workouts.) Everyone gets bumps and bruises, but if you take a pass on a workout, your competition will pass you by.
Wrists, shoulders and ankles are three areas that are often battered but not severely injured. Despite discomfort or lingering pain, you can still perform your full workouts. The key is to modify a few exercises without changing your overall goal.
Olympic lifts like the Snatch and Clean are extremely effective at increasing power, but they place a lot of stress on your wrists. If your wrists are sore, perform Med Ball Overhead Throws instead. They offer similar benefits without straining your wrists.
The Bench Press is a favorite exercise among athletes. However, the position of the arms together with a heavy weight load can cause shoulder pain if you're not at 100%. Switch to a Neutral Grip Dumbbell Press so your shoulders can work in a more natural and comfortable position.
Shoulder issues can also stem from pressing exercises themselves. In this case, focus on pulling exercises to maintain strength during your season. The Inverted Row is a great exercise for strengthening the back muscles and keeping your shoulders healthy.
Ankles take a beating when you sprint and change direction. Performing plyos and drills that mimic gameplay may aggravate any nagging issues. Instead, perform the Barefoot Kettlebell Swing. (Learn more about kettlebell training.) This exercise will maintain your power and build endurance while placing minimal stress on your ankles. In fact, the barefoot component will actually help prevent future ankle injuries.
Sets/Duration: 5-10x60 seconds