To improve as an athlete, enhance your fitness, build muscle and strength (especially at an elite level) you must expose your body to repetitive physical stress. The more you train, the more opportunities you give yourself to improve. However, the body can only withstand so much!
Typically throughout a standard training week (especially for athletes competing in sports like AFL, soccer etc) strength training sessions will generally focus on big lifts like squats, dead-lifts and lunges. Once you combine this with conditioning sessions and skills training you’re looking at significant loading on your lower body.
Considering the lower body constitutes most of our muscle mass, it subsequently receives the lion’s share of muscle damage and requires more recovery time ⏰
If you aren’t careful and loading on the body isn’t measured, fatigue will start to alter motor patterns and therefore recruit the wrong muscles for the prescribed movements. When we start to compensate or start to recruit poor movement patterns due to fatigue, imbalances and injuries occur.
Off-legs conditioning is one way athletes can continue to train and improve performance whilst minimising the load through their legs and subsequently reducing risk of injury.
Boxing 🥊 battling ropes, grinders, assault bikes and rowers are great off-leg options that provide quality training effects and positive adaptions without placing too much physical stress on the lower body.