With schools closed and no weight training, football players need to work out on their own

If schools remain closed for an extended period, the lack of weight training could affect the fall football season.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

With high school weight rooms closed and off limits for at least another month because of the COVID-9 pandemic, the offseason training programs for football players have been disrupted and the impetus will be on individuals to find ways at home to work on getting stronger, which is a critical component to avoiding injuries in the fall.

Nick Garcia, the strength and conditioning coach at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, said he gave players three options on how to proceed using information from an app. One would be a training program if they had weight equipment at home; another if they had a little equipment and the third is for those who have none.

Strength can be gained by improving mobility and flexibility without using weights through box jumps, stretching exercises, abdominal exercises, pushups and situps. Strength training has been used to help prevent hamstring injuries in the fall.

Garcia said he is not concerned on the lack of weight training at schools unless closures continue into August. He believes players will be following plans given to them. He has recommended they rise at 6:45 a.m. as if they were at Notre Dame in a regular weight training class and continue on their own.


Garfield coach Lorenzo Hernandez said he remains in communication with players hoping they are continuing to exercise in preparation for the season ahead. But he acknowledges that an extended absence from the weight room could lead to issues in the fall.

“It’s definitely going to be something to affect us, but we’re counting on these kids to stay active,” he said.

Athletes are always good at using their ingenuity, so borrowing their dogs to help them run or buying a medicine ball to help them train can help in this time of closed fitness centers and closed weight rooms.