This Bfitteen Blog is written by Sam Z. | August 12, 2015
So here is my first blog #bfitnation. I wanted to write about the importance of strength training for all teen athletes. But, before starting any type of strength training program, it is especially important to talk with a professional trainer, physical education teacher, or a coach trained in strength training.
It is not necessary to discontinue strength training during a competitive season, whatever that sport may be. In actuality, you really want to commit to at least one day a week in the weight room doing strength training. For some sports, this is easier said than done – but with commitment and motivation this can be done. The alternative is entering the championship portion of the (your sport) season, weaker than when the competitive season began.
So, it is best to have a plan.
The most important elements of training are consistency, an unwavering willingness to work hard, a determination to get stronger, and a clear goal(s) always in mind. At the high school level, almost without exception, most athletes are novices to beginners in relation to strength training. Like any activity, the more inexperienced the participant, the more basic the plan must be. A good strength training plan is rooted in the performance of big, multi-joint movements. The bench press, military press, back squat, deadlift, power clean and horizontal row must comprise the bulk of the program.
These types of lifts can be performed over any number of days a week and the resistances should progress over time. The win about training teen sports athletes at this level, is that the programming does not have to complicated to produce results.
Here is a list of things that regardless of the sport should form the foundation of a high school strength training program. This list is far from complete, but it does provide teen athletes an all-around introduction to strength training.
The Squat: There is no question that squats are an essential movement in the strength development of any athlete. The depth of the squat is a primary factor in obtaining successful results. It is widely accepted that one must lower the hips to a point that the crease in the hip drops slightly below the top of the knee; this is, “breaking parallel.” It takes squatting to this depth engage all the targeted muscles. When squatting is done above this level, the hip extensors are not fully utilized and the exercise becomes little more than a terminal knee extension with a bar on the back. Build up to the breaking parallel for maximum results. The box squat is an excellent way to practice proper squat technique. With the correct box height, depth of movement will naturally come become about the same every time.
Agility Ladder: Developing agility, speed and quickness is on every coach’s list of performance enhancement activities. Agility is the ability to decelerate, redirect, and accelerate in a different direction as quickly and as smoothly as possible. This action most often takes place in the heat of competition, when an athlete reacts to an opponent or action of the game. With agility ladders, athletes learn to move their feet very fast. However, athletes also need to cover ground, react, fill space, get open (you get the picture) so be sure to incorporate drills that require change of direction or multiple changes of direction.
Distance Running and Conditioning: Running and jogging for distance can be used as a means to enhance recovery from high intensity training. It is important, however, to allow you muscles to recover from strength training. It is recommended that you finish your strength training first and then add a jog or running work-out. Some trainers believer that you are at risk for an injury if you jog between sets.
I have made strength training a part of my workouts on a weekly basis. I started out with some good instruction and guidance, and have been able to achieve my goals. For more information on the importance of strength training, talk with your athletic director at your school.
By Sam Z. | Bfitblogger