The daily life of all of us has entered a new trajectory due to the problems created by the pandemic phenomenon of the virus, covid-19 and of course football has been affected. New safety protocols from the scientific community force footballers infected with the virus, to enter a form of quarantine for a respectable period of usually about 2 weeks. During this period, the footballer experiences the phenomenon of de-training since he is not allowed to participate in sports activities with the team.
But what happens to the athlete's body when the exercise suddenly stops?
There are definitely many physiology structure changes in the body. The cardiovascular (aerobic) gains beginning to be lost - mainly the heart's stroke volume decreases, the muscles' ability to process oxygen, and the body's ability to use carbohydrates for fuel. The training improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels are starting to disappear. And when strength training is stopped, the benefits gained in muscle fiber size and other neuromuscular adjustments are slowly lost.
Even two weeks of abstinence can lead to a significant reduction in fitness. In general, however, the loss of aerobic capacity occurs faster than the decrease in muscle strength.
Athletes who have trained intensively for a long time experience more slow and gradual reductions when they stop exercising compared to low-level athletes.
After the de-training period, how long will it take to regain the previous level of fitness and how?
As the Liverpool FC international player Konstantinos Tsimikas confessed to us, who recently went through the coronavirus adventure, in the first week of his inclusion, he abstained from any activity and in the second week he followed an aerobic individual program with mobility and core exercises. When he returned, after a quarantine of 14 days, he continued with an individual football based program and very soon he rejoined the team training , without finding any other particular problem in his physical condition.
We point out, of course, that the time and degree of restoration and recovery depends on various factors, the training history and genetic characteristics of each player.
S11.gr recorded some general instructions that can lead to faster and safer reintegration in football training with the team. The following suggestions of course can be executed only after consultation with the personal doctor of the footballer and if he had mild or no symptoms. Thus his body can accept the partial stress that will be caused by the individual workouts that will follow.
1. Mobility exercises 5'-10'. (The training creates a profile of "stiffness" in muscles and joints resulting in reduced flexibility and mobility)
2. Training of aerobic capacity on a treadmill or stationary bike 65-85% M.H.R. 20'-40 '. (Aerobic capacity is affected from the very first days where VO2max is gradually reduced). Stimuli can gradually increase in intensity depending on the athlete's condition.
3.Circuit strength endurance body weighted program for the whole body with a work-rest ratio of 40'' : 20 '' of 10'-20 '. (stabilization of energy flow in the muscles and minimization of reduction of muscle nerve capacity)
4. Static stretching for main muscle groups 5'. (muscle elasticity decreases during the inclusion period)
After the negative tests and when the player returns to the team, it will be good to follow an individual program with a sufficient volume of specialized football movements (ball driving, all first touches, passes, turnovers, etc.).
In terms of his physical abilities is now able to follow an intense interval training program, gradually from 80% to 120% of vVO2max thus increasing the duration of activation of aerobic and anaerobic mechanism. Also to introduce a small volume of accelerations, decelerations, jumps and changes of directions, preparing the muscular- tendon system and joints.
His gradual integration into team training with participation in appropriate contents of the team, is the key to a safe and smooth continuation of the following season, something that must be decided together by the coaching and medical staff of the team. After all, all parties must adapt to the new data of our days.