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Can home exercises keep players fit during Covid-19 quarantine?

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Can home exercises ensure players maintain their optimum fitness during a Covid-19 quarantine?

That was the question asked by EHF Lecturer and Master Coach Murat Bilge in a newly published study.

With clubs and their players across the continent preparing in different ways as a result of Covid-19 – especially when training is restricted or prohibited to a lockdown or quarantine – Bilge set out to find out how home fitness regimes effected handball players.

Finding ways of keeping up physical and mental condition is of paramount importance to players – something that was highlighted through the EHF’s very own Handball at Home campaign.

Bilge, himself a former national player and Under-20 coach for Turkey, analysed data from 16 national players playing in his own team in Turkish Men’s Super League to show professional players if high-density exercises applied in the home environment are similar to aerobic and anaerobic capacity in the field.

The five-week study, which was divided into four separate intensity groups, saw each player record heart rates and perceived difficulty at the end of their workouts in the home environment.

The findings of the study indicated that four different levels of interval training programmes, when applied to professional handball players, can replace hall training.

In summary of the results, Bilge told eurohandball.com: “While it was planned that the training heart-rate values obtained from the handball players were similar to the training load, it was concluded that some training programmes did not reach the target heart-rate and Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) values were obtained with HR-RPE.

“The fact that the people who will do this type of exercise put such loads in a certain period of the training period will affect the achievement of the study goals.

“In addition, it is recommended to work on personal and technical programs in order to prevent professional athletes from straying from the active performance lines as much as possible on quarantine days.”

To read the study in full, download the pdf below.

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