Pre-Season Conditioning

Pre-Season Conditioning

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Pre-Season Conditioning

Kickstart Your Season with Essential Strength and Conditioning

As we edge closer to the new season, athletes and fitness devotees are eager to showcase their peak performance, whether on the sports field or in the gym. I’m here to tell you that no matter your current fitness state, embarking on a robust strength and conditioning regime pre-season can dramatically elevate your game. This piece will guide you through the pivotal role of strength and conditioning for all fitness stages, offering practical advice to prime you for the upcoming challenges.

Grasping the Fundamentals

Strength and conditioning are the twin pillars of athletic excellence. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro athlete, a casual weekend player, or someone just starting their fitness voyage; a well-rounded training strategy is key. Aiming to boost strength, endurance, flexibility, and injury prevention, this comprehensive approach prepares your body for the season’s rigours.

Athlete running on football field, physio works top, pre-season conditioning
Pre-Season Conditioning Improves Performance

Customising Your Training Plan

For the Novice

If fitness is new to you, initiate your journey with simple bodyweight exercises. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks lay a solid foundation. Introduce light resistance with bands or small weights to gently challenge your muscles. Prioritising correct technique early on safeguards against injuries and paves the way for future advancements.

For the Intermediate

Those with a bit of fitness background should blend bodyweight exercises with resistance training. Engage in compound movements like deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses to build muscle and strength. Don’t forget cardio, like running or cycling, to boost your stamina. Elevate weights and intensity gradually to continuously challenge your physique.

For the Advanced

Experienced athletes should refine their strength and tackle any specific weaknesses. Employ periodisation—alternating between high-intensity training and recovery phases—to enhance performance. Integrate advanced drills such as plyometrics and agility exercises that reflect your sport’s demands. Remember, adequate rest and mobility exercises are crucial to stay in top shape.

Pre-Season Program Essentials

Strength Workouts

Target key muscle groups with compound exercises. Schedule 2-3 strength sessions weekly, ensuring a 48-hour rest between them. Balance your routine with both lower and upper body workouts.

Cardio Training

Incorporate varied cardio exercises to improve endurance. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate cardio each week, adjusting the intensity based on your fitness level.

Flexibility and Mobility

Allocate time for dynamic stretching, yoga, or foam rolling to boost flexibility and mobility. Include these practices in your warm-up and cool-down routines to decrease injury risks.

Nutrition and Hydration

Fuel your body appropriately with a balanced diet and ample hydration, particularly as your training intensity escalates. Nutrition and proper hydration are pivotal for optimal performance and recovery.

A tailored strength and conditioning plan is invaluable as you prepare for the season ahead, regardless of your fitness tier. By focusing on strength, endurance, and injury prevention, you’ll be poised to excel from the get-go. Through dedication, consistent effort, and a strategic training regimen, peak performance is within your reach.

Remember, for more detailed guidance or specific concerns, direct your queries to the PhysioWorks website or consult with your clinician. They’re equipped to provide you with personalised advice tailored to your fitness goals and needs.

Related Articles

  1. Prehabilitation: Enhancing Your Sporting Outcome – Prehabilitation focuses on strengthening and conditioning before your season starts to enhance your outcomes. It outlines the importance of a tailored prehabilitation program, designed by physiotherapists, to prepare the body for the season ahead, reduce injury recovery time, and improve performance outcomes. This approach is integral for anyone looking to optimise their health and physical condition in preparation for sporting seasons​​.
  2. Injury Prevention Programs: A Guide to Reducing Sports Injuries – This article explains the role of injury prevention programs in sports, highlighting how tailored exercises can significantly reduce the risk of injuries. It discusses the development of specific programs designed to target the prevention of common sports injuries, emphasising the importance of incorporating these routines into regular training schedules for athletes of all levels​​.
  3. Gym Workout Safety: A Physio’s Guide To Injury-Free Fitness – Focusing on the importance of robust core strength as a prime defense against gym injuries, this guide offers insights into starting with exercises like planks, bird-dogs, and dead bugs. These exercises aid in stabilizing your spine, enhancing posture, and providing a solid base for all other exercises​​.
  4. Injury Prevention Essentials: Strategies for Staying Injury-Free – This comprehensive guide outlines essential strategies to prevent injuries across various physical activities. It emphasises the importance of a well-rounded approach, incorporating strength training, flexibility exercises, and proper technique into regular routines to safeguard against common injuries. The article provides practical tips for individuals at all fitness levels to maintain their physical health and continue enjoying their preferred activities without the setback of injuries​​.


American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription.

Nobari H, Ramachandran AK, Brito JP, Oliveira R. Quantification of Pre-Season and In-Season Training Intensity across an Entire Competitive Season of Asian Professional Soccer Players. Healthcare (Basel). 2022 Jul 23;10(8):1367. doi: 10.3390/healthcare10081367. PMID: 35893188; PMCID: PMC9330844.

Wolters Kluwer. Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (2008). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (3rd ed.).

Human Kinetics. National Strength and Conditioning Association. (2016). NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training (2nd ed.). Human Kinetics.

Article by Zoe Russell

Sports Physiotherapy FAQs

sports physiotherapist brisbane

Sports Physiotherapy is the specialised branch of physiotherapy which deals with injuries and issues related to spokespeople. Practitioners with additional formal training within Australia are Sports & Exercise Physiotherapists.

What is Sports Physiotherapy?

Sports injuries do differ from common everyday injuries. Athletes usually require high-level performance and demands placed upon their bodies, which stresses their muscles, joints and bones to the limit. Sports physiotherapists help athletes recover from sporting injuries and provide education and resources to prevent problems. Each sports physiotherapist usually has sport-specific knowledge that addresses acute, chronic and overuse injuries. Their services are generally available to sportsmen and women of all ages engaged in sports at any level of competition.

Members of Sports Physiotherapy Australia (SPA) have experience and knowledge of the latest evidence-based practice, professional assessment and diagnosis of sports injuries, and effective hands-on management techniques and exercise protocols to assist recovery and prevent future damage. SPA members have access to the most recent advances in sports physiotherapy. You'll be pleased to know that most PhysioWorks physiotherapists and massage therapists are particularly interested in sports injury management.

General Sports Physio FAQs

Injury Management

Sports Massage

Sports Insurance

Related Articles

  1. Sports Injury Management: This article provides a comprehensive look at how sports injuries are managed, including prevention strategies and treatment options​​.
  2. Soft Tissue Injury Healing: Readers can learn about the healing process for soft tissue injuries, including practical advice for each phase of recovery​​.
  3. Prehabilitation: Key to Injury-Free Sports Performance: Offers insights into how athletes can prevent injuries before they occur, focusing on strengthening and conditioning practices​​.
  4. Athletics Injuries - Comprehensive Physio Guide: A detailed guide on common injuries in athletics and how to treat and prevent them, making it a valuable resource for athletes of all levels​​.
  5. Acute Sports Injury Clinic: Highlights the services offered by sports injury clinics, including fast-track assessments and treatments for acute sports injuries​​.
  6. Effective Management of Kids Sports Injuries: This guide focuses on the unique aspects of managing sports injuries in children, offering parents and coaches valuable advice on care and prevention​​.

More Information

Common Muscle Injuries

A Physiotherapist's Guide


Muscle injuries, presenting as muscle strain, pain or myalgia, are prevalent health issues affecting a wide range of individuals. This detailed guide, from a physiotherapist's perspective, delves into various muscle injuries, elaborating on their management, prevention, and the importance of professional advice. Explore the linked articles for an in-depth understanding of muscle injuries and their effective treatment.

Common Muscle Injuries

Neck & Back Muscle Injuries: Causes and Solutions

  1. Back Muscle Pain: This pain often results from prolonged poor posture or physical overuse. Key to relief is engaging in exercises that strengthen the core muscles and improve posture, thereby alleviating the strain on the back.
  2. Neck Sprain: Caused by sudden, awkward movements, a neck sprain can benefit from a combination of gentle stretches and targeted strengthening exercises to restore flexibility and strength.
  3. Text Neck: A modern ailment resulting from extended mobile device use, text neck can lead to chronic pain. Regular breaks, posture-awareness, and neck-strengthening exercises are essential for prevention.
  4. Whiplash: Commonly occurring in car accidents, whiplash requires a careful approach including neck stabilisation exercises and controlled movement to encourage healing and prevent further injury.

Lower Limb Muscle Injuries: Understanding and Treating

  1. Hamstring Strain: Particularly common among athletes, particularly runners, this strain demands rest initially, followed by a carefully structured rehabilitation program focusing on gradual strength building and flexibility.
  2. Thigh Strain: Often seen in sports involving sprinting and jumping, thigh strains need a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) in the initial stages, followed by carefully planned strengthening exercises.
  3. Groin Strain: This injury requires a nuanced approach, including sufficient rest and targeted exercises, to ensure a safe and effective recovery.
  4. Calf Muscle Tear: Key to recovery is a balance of rest, gentle stretching exercises, and a gradual return to full activity, ensuring the muscle heals correctly and strength is regained.

Upper Limb Muscle Injuries: Prevention and Care

  1. Golfer's Elbow and Tennis Elbow: Both these conditions involve inflammation of the tendons and require a rest period, followed by ice therapy and specific exercises tailored to strengthen the affected muscles.
  2. Corked Thigh: Resulting from direct impacts, these injuries demand immediate application of ice and a controlled, gradual exercise regime for recovery.
  3. DOMS, Fatigue-Related Cramps & Myalgia: Adequate rest, good hydration, and gentle stretching are crucial in alleviating these conditions.
  4. RSI: Regular stretching, ergonomic workplace adjustments, and taking breaks are key preventive measures for repetitive strain injury.

Systemic Causes of Muscle Pain: A Holistic View

  1. Fibromyalgia: This complex condition demands a holistic treatment approach, including exercise routines, stress management techniques, and sometimes medication.
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Effective management combines medication, gentle exercise, and regular physiotherapy sessions.

Prevention and Management Strategies

  • Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity helps maintain muscle strength and flexibility, reducing the risk of muscle injuries.
  • Posture Improvement: Good posture, both in motion and at rest, is crucial for preventing muscle strain.
  • Proper Warm-up and Cool-down: Adequate warm-up before and cool-down after physical activity is vital in preventing muscle strains and injuries.
  • Ergonomic Adjustments: Making ergonomic adjustments at work and during daily activities can significantly reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries and other muscle-related issues.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Keeping a healthy weight reduces the strain on muscles, particularly in weight-bearing joints.

What to Do? Seeking Professional Advice

Consult a physiotherapist or doctor for personalised advice and treatment plans. Remember, early intervention can significantly improve recovery outcomes and prevent chronic problems.


While muscle injuries are common, effective management and prevention are achievable with the right approach and knowledge. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and various treatments available empowers individuals to take proactive steps in their recovery and prevention. For the most tailored and effective treatment, always seek the guidance of a professional physiotherapist.

Common Ligament Injuries

common ligament injuries
Common Ligament Injuries

Ligament Injury

Ligament injuries frequently occur in various body parts, leading to pain and restricted movement. The most common sites include the knee, ankle, shoulder, wrist, hand, and spine.

Notably, knee injuries like ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL sprains are prevalent.

Shoulder injuries often involve the AC joint, while wrist and hand issues can include thumb and finger sprains.

Spinal ligament injuries, such as back and neck sprains, and whiplash, are also significant. Understanding these injuries helps in prevention, early detection, and effective treatment.

Ankle Ligament Injuries

Ankle injuries often result from sudden twists or rolls, leading to sprains and strains.

Knee Ligament Injuries

Knee ligament injuries are among the most common and can severely impact mobility and quality of life.

Shoulder Ligament Injuries

Shoulder ligament injuries can be debilitating, affecting a range of movements.

Wrist & Hand Ligament Injuries

Injuries in the wrist and hand are common, especially in sports and physical activities.

Spinal Ligament Injuries

Spinal ligament injuries can result from various causes, including posture issues and physical impacts.

Related Articles

  1. Ligament Tear - Common Ligament Injuries: Offers a comprehensive overview of ligament injuries across different body parts, including prevention, early detection, and effective treatment strategies​​.
  2. Knee Ligament Injury - A Physiotherapist's Guide & Tips: Provides insights into diagnosing knee pain, covering ligament issues among other concerns, and suggests pain relief methods through exercise and treatment​​.
  3. Common Ankle Ligament Injuries: A Physiotherapist's Guide: Discusses the treatment and prevention strategies for ankle ligament injuries, emphasising the importance of early intervention​​.
  4. Sprained Ankle Treatment & Recovery Guide: Offers detailed guidance on the recovery timelines for sprained ankles, highlighting the importance of restoring strength, motion, and function for a full recovery​​.
  5. Ankle Strapping: Complete Guide To Injury Prevention: Focuses on preventing ankle injuries through effective strapping techniques and discusses conditions like ankle arthritis and biomechanical issues​​.
  6. Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury: Explores the treatment and recovery process for various ligament injuries, including those affecting the knee, shoulder, wrist, hand, and spine​​.
  7. Sprained Thumb Treatment And Recovery Tips: Delivers practical tips for treating and recovering from a sprained thumb, along with general management strategies for wrist and hand pain​​.
You've just added this product to the cart: