Moroccan Athletes’ Physical Condition Has Been Heavily Impacted by Confinement

Under a state of health emergency, athletes of all disciplines were forced to self-confined during this period, resulting in a loss of stamina and a decrease in muscle mass, said the technical director of the Moroccan National Olympic Committee, Hassan Fekkak.

A 45 minute jog remains the best way to work on stamina, however, due to the health emergency measures implemented to stop the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), the athletes were only able to do their cardio sessions, which are essential to improve physical and technical performance, said Fekkak.

Fekkak added that many athletes without a home bike simply practiced rope skipping, which in turn helps to improve performance but is not enough for top athletes.

During confinement, athletes struggled to perform explosive exercises to work the intensity of effort, which can be increasing, decreasing or fluctuating, Fekkak noted, adding that the athletes were unable to achieve the necessary level of intensity at home training sessions.

Such home training has also had a negative impact on the skill level of the athletes, particularly in sports that require collective training such as judo and wrestling, Fekkak explained.

As a result, some martial arts practitioners such as karatekas and taekwondoist are losing their speed and responsiveness, the technical director said, adding that these athletes lose, over time, the speed of reaction in attack or defense that they have previously sharpened, and find it more difficult to ensure good support on the mat.

In some sports, such as swimming, where training cannot be done outside of the pool, he explained that confinement has had a negative impact on the athletes’ physical condition, which is reflected in a loss of rhythm in the absence of group training and, more importantly, a loss of muscle volume, he added.

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