Importance Of Continuing Your Strength & Conditioning Training During Your In-Season

With transition in weather comes the transition in our seasonal sports and activities. Running, cycling, hiking, skiing, or boarding are great ways to train outside of the gym but it’s important to remember that consistently training in the gym will mitigate injury and improve your performance.  

Our objectives in the weight room are to (1) strengthen and balance the muscles, ligaments, and tendons so they can adequately handle the stressors of acceleration, deceleration, and change of direction against varying external forces (i.e., ground, snow, water, air, bike pedals, mountain sides, etc.) without breaking down or tearing, and (2) build stamina and endurance to ensure our body can endure repeated stressors for a duration of time. 

Fun Fact: The glutes, hamstrings, and hip adductors are the primary supporters of the knees and ankles, and produce the most force in acceleration, deceleration, and change of direction. Unfortunately, these muscles are generally not primary muscles worked in sports and are therefore neglected and underdeveloped. This imbalance will eventually lead to performance plateau and decline—if an injury doesn’t occur first! (5,6) 

An increased likelihood of injury and decreased performance potential is obviously the opposite of what we’d like to achieve in our sports or activities. To avoid these pitfalls, all strength and conditioning activities need to be reverse engineered sessions of your sport. This is executed by looking at which muscle groups are being activated with participation in any sport or activity, and then have a primary focus on developing and strengthening the other muscles that are not being activated. For example, most sports and activities require heavy quad and hip flexor lower body movements, and heavy flexion and internal rotation of the shoulder joint for upper body movements (1,3). So, the goal in the weight room should be to target the opposite muscles with posterior chain hips, hamstrings, upper back, and external rotation of the shoulder joint. This will balance the body so when participating in sports or activities, these muscles will work together, increasing your horsepower in acceleration, and improving your breaks for decelerations and your body’s handling ability to change direction (1,2,5,6,14). 

In summary, the best way to improve your sport performance and decrease likelihood of injury is to incorporate properly periodized and progressive overload-based strength and conditioning (5,6,9,12,14). It’s incredibly important to view this as two separate segments in our training. Combining them into one ultimately decreases your overall success in sport (1,2,6,14,). Fortunately for us all, this is exactly how we program and train at SLC Strength & Conditioning. As long as you’re showing up to train, rest assured, you’re in great hands—regardless of what sport or activity you participate in (or not)! 


1-Hébert-Losier, K., Zinner, C., Platt, S., Stöggl, T., & Holmberg, H. C. (2017). Factors that influence the performance of elite sprint cross-country skiers. Sports Medicine47(2), 319-342. 

2-Haugen, T. A., Breitschädel, F., Wiig, H., & Seiler, S. (2020). Countermovement jump height in national-team athletes of various sports: a framework for practitioners and scientists. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance16(2), 184-189. 

3-Losnegard, T., Schäfer, D., & Hallén, J. (2014). Exercise economy in skiing and running. Frontiers in physiology5, 5. 

4-Castañeda-Babarro, A., Etayo-Urtasun, P., & León-Guereño, P. (2022). Effects of Strength Training on Cross-Country Skiing Performance: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(11), 6522 

5-Keiner, M., Sander, A., Wirth, K., & Schmidtbleicher, D. (2014). Long-term strength training effects on change-of-direction sprint performance. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research28(1), 223-231. 

6-Lloyd, R. S., Cronin, J. B., Faigenbaum, A. D., Haff, G. G., Howard, R., Kraemer, W. J., … & Oliver, J. L. (2016). National Strength and Conditioning Association position statement on long-term athletic development. Journal of strength and conditioning research30(6), 1491-1509. 

7-de Hoyo, M., Gonzalo-Skok, O., Sañudo, B., Carrascal, C., Plaza-Armas, J. R., Camacho-Candil, F., & Otero-Esquina, C. (2016). Comparative effects of in-season full-back squat, resisted sprint training, and plyometric training on explosive performance in U-19 elite soccer players. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research30(2), 368-377. 

8-Verkhoshansky, Y., & Siff, M. C. (2009). Supertraining. Moscau, Russia: Verkhoshansky SSTM. 95-105. 

9-Delecluse, C. (1997). Influence of strength training on sprint running performance. Sports medicine24(3), 147-156. 

10-Esfarjani, F., & Laursen, P. B. (2007). Manipulating high-intensity interval training: effects on V˙ O2max, the lactate threshold and 3000 m running performance in moderately trained males. Journal of science and medicine in sport10(1), 27-35. 

11-Gist, N. H., Fedewa, M. V., Dishman, R. K., & Cureton, K. J. (2014). Sprint interval training effects on aerobic capacity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports medicine44(2), 269-279. 

12-Girold, S., Maurin, D., Dugue, B., Chatard, J. C., & Millet, G. (2007). Effects of dry-land vs. resisted-and assisted-sprint exercises on swimming sprint performances. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research21(2), 599-605. 

13-McBride, J. M., Triplett-McBride, T. R. A. V. I. S., Davie, A., & Newton, R. U. (1999). A comparison of strength and power characteristics between power lifters, Olympic lifters, and sprinters. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research13(1), 58-66. 

14-Cronin, J. B., & Hansen, K. T. (2005). Strength and power predictors of sports speed. J Strength Cond Res19(2), 349-357. 

15-Esfarjani, F., & Laursen, P. B. (2007). Manipulating high-intensity interval training: effects on V˙ O2max, the lactate threshold and 3000 m running performance in moderately trained males. Journal of science and medicine in sport10(1), 27-35. 

16- Kim, J., Lee, N., Trilk, J., Kim, E. J., Kim, S. Y., Lee, M., & Cho, H. C. (2011). Effects of sprint interval training on elite Judoists. International journal of sports medicine32(12), 929-934.