Doing the best they can: Lockdown athletes use the brain, not just muscle strength

PARIS: Alexandra Recchia Balance a candlestick in a pot full of pebbles. Place padded pads at head and chest height over the precarious structure, before firmly attaching them with tape.

Then the 31-year-old karate champion unleashes with his fists and feet what serves as a punching bag.

Like all athletes in the coronavirus-induced confinement in France, Recchia is using the brain and muscle strength, doing the best she can with the materials at hand in her home in the Paris area. They are not the best preparations for the next Olympic Games in which he hopes to represent France. But better than most. At least she has access to a small garden.

She is doing eight to nine training sessions, six days a week, three of them working with the candlestick bag that holds up pretty well after almost three weeks of hitting.

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In his house south of the French capital, Yoann Offredo He installed a stationary race bike in his basement where he works in hopes that part of the cycling season can be salvaged.

His favorite moment, the classic spring season, is already lost and even the best race of all, the Tour de France, is in doubt. Offredo acknowledges that with 33 years it will be his last season in the saddle.

It is still pushed to the limit. And when his legs are tired and his mood sinks, the photo of his hero takes his breath away Fausto Coppi , which hangs on the wall of his makeshift gym.

Judoka Kilian Le Blouch was about to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics when international competition was suspended. So he went back to the drawing board literally for him and his judo partner Sarah Harachi . The workout of the day in his two-bedroom apartment in the Paris area is written in minute detail on a blackboard in the kitchen.

That helps keep the rhythm, the rigor, so we don't lose track, he said.

They have installed a home trainer in the living room and a bar attached to the entrance that Le Blouch described as the star of the running of the bulls to help keep him toned while not having the facilities provided in a well-equipped gym.

At home, her goals are modest. Stay fit, stay fit, and maybe take advantage of the lockout to work in weak areas you don't normally have time to tackle. And I hope the closure ends soon.