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How Olympians Jack and Lois have adapted their training to keep fit while in lockdown

Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist Jack Laugher says that still feeling part of a team has helped him cope with life out of the pool during the current coronavirus lockdown.

In isolation together with his girlfriend and Commonwealth bronze medallist, Lois Toulson, the pair have adapted their training to maintain fitness levels while they are staying home.

With the restrictions extended for at least another three weeks, Laugher has stressed the importance of staying physically and mentally active.

Laugher said: “I’m living with Lois’ family at the moment. There’s a big garden, we’ve got a dog here and there’s a lot to do day to day.

“We do yoga every morning. We also do strength and conditioning sessions which are quite difficult to do because we don’t have any weights or barbells so most of it is body work really.

“It’s just keeping our muscles going and trying to deteriorate as little as possible. Most competitions have been cancelled this year so it’s just about trying to maintain and keep in shape.

“I’ve brought my computer games over so I’m still able to play on my computer and do what I like to do as well as being part of the family and enjoy time together with them as well.”

Feeling part of a team

“We’re also doing gymnastics sessions with our gymnastics coach. We’re doing it all over conference call apps and stuff so it’s really good fun and it still feels unified in our team at Leeds.

“We all still feel like we’re part of one team and we’ve still got that support around us – we’re doing around two sessions per day which is quite nice.

“It’s nice to have a routine still. We’re waking up in the morning ready for training and it’s nice to be able to have a purpose to wake up for and still keep active.”

Advice to younger athletes

Laugher has advised young divers to stay active so they’ll still be in good shape when pools reopen.

“At Leeds, our coaches are setting workouts for divers to do at home,” said the 25-year-old.

“I know when you’re young, it’s very easy to look at this like it’s a bit of holiday time and a bit of time off.

“But I think it’s still very important to look at it like you’re still training and you’re still keeping your body moving, staying fit and active.

“Being sat at home for weeks, it is very easy to let yourself slip out of your routine but it’s really important to stay in shape and stay fit and flexible and all those kind of things.

“Hopefully your coach is prescribing you things to do but if not, maybe take it upon yourself to go online try a yoga video or a conditioning video.

“Plenty of people are doing them and plenty of YouTube videos are out there already.

“It will hopefully put you in a good position so that when we do come back, you’re still in shape and still able to do the things that you could before.”

There are a wide range of resources available on the Swim England YouTube channel as well as guidance on virtual teaching and coaching.