Mike Martinez

USA Volleyball head athletic trainer Mike Martinez is pictured doing a virtual athletic training session with USA beach volleyball player Tri Bourne.

With student-athletes being forced to work out on their own these days due to the coronavirus shutdown, the motivation to stay on top of their training might be a little harder than it normally would if they were at the field or track with their coach and athletic trainer.

University of the Pacific professor Manuel Romero, Ph.D., saw his own workout shift once he and his family could no longer go to the gym, he said.

“I have a family and we’re a pretty active family. We used to go to the gym. We transformed our garage to a gym. It’s kind of nice. We’re working out in our garage with some of the stuff I had bought over the years,” Romero said.

Romero, who used to be the head athletic trainer for the Sacramento Kings, said that, at the pro level, he would use software to deliver workouts to players in the off-season and that he was able to use some apps to “deliver exercise, monitor them and make sure they do their exercises correctly.”

If that is not possible, there are also steps that student-athletes can take at home to stay motivated.

“You can work on your cardiovascular system, you can go out for a run for 20 minutes. That’s something very easy to do,” Romero said. “Doing body weight movement, lunges, if you have stairs or steps you can do some step ups or downs. If you have cans in your pantry you can use those to work out your arms.”

Brandon Padilla, Director of Athletic Training at Sacramento State University, said trying out new activities and keeping in touch with school staff could be important motivators for students.

“We’ve been in contact with our students through team meetings and Zoom meetings,” Padilla said.

His advice for student-ahletes?

“Be active. Work on your strengths. Work on cardiovascular,” Padilla said.

At Sac State, Padilla noted he has sent out workouts for the Hornets and that maintaining diet is possible in order to avoid possible scenarios such as the “quarantine 15” that might occur when not going outside as much as one normally would, which had been the case for the past few months with sheltering-in-place.

“We’re primarily focused on our kids. I know (what) our strength and conditioning coaches have sent out. As far as athletes training in sports medicine, our strengths are sending out broad based workouts for our students to do,” Padilla said. “Diet is especially important. Our football players who would normally burn 5,000 calories in a day, right now they’re probably not burning that so they don’t need to consume as many calories.”

Mentally, Zoom and connecting through other virtual platforms with teammates, coaches and trainers can be key, as well, for athletes who play a team-based sport.

“I would try to leverage virtual meetings with your teammate. We made it a point to be on a weekly basis, try to stay connected while being separate. I’d work out with virtual meetings with teammates, coaches, trainers,” Romero said.

In order to inspire student-athletes, the California Athletic Trainers’ Association also released a short video series featuring at-home workout ideas from CATA member and athletic trainer Brittany Peterson (San Diego Loyal Soccer Club) on its California Athletic Trainers’ Association YouTube channel, which focus on speed and landing drills, strength exercises and cardio.