Conditioning the “Deconditioned”

Whether it is the playoffs, a  team spring break trip or preseason, sometimes you need a better solution to condition your athletes; especially the injured ones.

When we were approached by a local team to help create a conditioning program for their injured or “deconditioned” athletes, we wanted to help choose the kind of equipment and exercises that could be done under all conditions of practice or travel.

We started with the simple things like pushups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, etc; all things you can do in place. But we soon ran out of ideas, as we realized most of these movements don’t compare to the stress of the intervals, sprints or long distance runs that the team would do.

So we started to get creative and talked about best-case scenarios; bikes, upper body bikes, rowing machines, sleds and other pieces of equipment and hookups that are on the market. But then reality hit: the budget starts to get pretty tight with these and you can’t travel with them or even leave most of them outside, making them obsolete for most of the season.

Then the answer came.

Walking into our training room and nearly every person doing rehab and pre-strength training was using bands. You could take those bands everywhere. You could use them for everything. There was our answer.

3 Bands

Split up the exercises into modified upper body, modified lower body and general conditioning. The point was that if an athlete is injured in their upper body or lower body or they have been sick or unable to fully participate that they should be able to perform or participate at a similar level.

We use the red, purple and green bands and attach them to things using a large carabiner, or  just add the black band and loop them around whatever you can find.  Switch up the order of the bands or only use one of the bands, depending on the type of exercise.

The Limitations: The Movements

When everyone is doing sprints and you have athletes standing on the sidelines, moral can get a little low. Also, if the injury is significant enough to alter that athletes practice, but you know they will be back, you need to keep them in good aerobic shape. So we have to figure out a way to kick it up a notch. That’s when we bust out the bands.

Here is a quick list of exercises you can use. You could create an entire strength and conditioning program with these things (others have done a lot with them in the past) and could have infinite numbers of options. But try to keep it simple. Check out the video for the first installment of this series.

Lower Body Injury

Seated Band Punch

Seated Band Row

Kneeling Band Punch

Ground Band Row

Unable to Run

Band Squat Press

Band Twist-Put

*(BONUS) Band Sled or Object Drag

Band Battling Rope – Up and Down

Band Battling Rope – Side to Side

Upper Body Injury

Band Accelerator Sprints (Reps/Time)

Band Side Shuffle (Reps/Time)

*(BONUS) Band Sled or Object Drag

So with the use of these bands, you can truly say that there is no excuse for getting out of shape while hurt and since you can always take them with you, they can either end up as a staple in your warm up protocol or you can at least be sure that everyone can participate in conditioning.

3 Band Video

Where to buy? What to buy?

Check out Equipment Guys for different options:



Carabiners and Other Accessories