The coronavirus outbreak has forced domestic sports leagues to halt their seasons indefinitely, but with the NBA, NHL and MLB intent on restarting play once shelter-in-place orders are lifted - and the NFL looking to start their season on schedule - pro athletes need to stay in shape.
While that’s part of the job description for individuals who play sports for a living, with team facilities and gyms shuttered across the country it is easier said than done. Former Chargers and Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman said that as a gym rat he’s “still trying to figure out how guys are finding ways to [get good workouts in].”
Social distancing guidelines have forced in season athletes - particularly those without the luxury of a weight room in the house - to get creative with their fitness routines. Being limited to bodyweight exercises, cardio and yoga certainly isn’t ideal, but with some discipline it is possible to remain game ready.
For NFL players still in the off-season, the need to be in the gym isn’t as pressing; remember, training camp isn't slated to start until July.
Merriman told the sports business outlet, JohnWallStreet, that “at this point, it’s not about lifting weights; it’s about keeping your body active, keeping your weight down and staying in shape because that’s the biggest risk to injury.”
The 3x all-pro suggested those training for the 2020 football season find an empty park, “somewhere with a hill or mountain or some kind of slope, so that [they] can keep [their] conditioning up. As long as guys are continuing to work out three or four days/week - even if they’re just seeing a trainer in an open field [and doing some position drills - they should be ready for the start of camp].”
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