Archive for “Hips” Tag

How to Create a Strength Training Program For Young Athletes

Strength Training Program For Young Athletes

Strength training program design can get very complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. The bottom line is that you need to develop a well-rounded, comprehensive program that encourages hard work and progressive overload of the musculature. If those components are in place, you are well on your way to helping your athletes reap the benefits of a strength training program for young athletes.  Keep in mind that “young athletes” can mean just about anyone under 18 years old.  In this case, the program is mainly geared toward athletes 12-18 years old.

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #1: Comprehensive

A strength training program for young athletes should address every major muscle group in the body: chest, upper back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, neck (for collision sports), abdominals, lower back, hips & glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Certain sports will focus more on a particular body part or require specialized work on smaller muscle groups (i.e. baseball pitchers will train the rotator cuff extensively), but all major muscle groups should be addressed. In general, an equal amount of work should be done on each side of a joint.

A strength training program for young athletes should address every major muscle group in the body.

Deficiencies can be overcome through a strength training program, but it generally takes specialized assessment to determine which muscles are deficient, and that is beyond the scope of this article.

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #2: Progressive

Strength Training Program for Young Athletes

In order for any program to be effective, there must be a systematic and progressive overload of the musculature. In other words, athletes should systematically attempt to perform more work on a given exercise. For example, an athlete who can perform a maximum of 10 push-ups today should attempt to perform 11 repetitions at some point. When 11 can be performed, 12 should be attempted, and so on.

Progress can be made through any of the following: increasing the number of repetitions, increasing the amount of weight, increasing the number of sets, increasing the number of training days per week, decreasing the amount of rest time between sets, or a combination of any of these.

One of the easiest approaches is called “double progression.” To use this method, start by determining a range of repetitions you are going to use, for example 6-10 reps. If the athlete is unable to perform at least 6 reps, the weight is too heavy. If more than 10 reps can be performed, the weight is too light. During each workout, one more rep should be attempted until the top of the range (10 reps in this case) can be performed. When the top of the range is achieved, the weight will be increased at the next workout by the smallest amount possible.

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #3: How many sets?

The number of sets used on an exercise or within a complete workout can vary greatly, but the following guidelines can be used. In most cases, 1-3 sets will be performed for each exercise and 15-20 working sets (not including warm-up sets) will be performed in the entire workout.

If fewer sets are used, each set should be performed with maximum intensity. In other words, the set should be taken to the point of momentary muscular fatigue, or no more reps can be performed. If the athletes are unable to perform with maximal intensity, it is generally a good idea to complete multiple sets of an exercise.

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #4: How many reps?

While there is great debate of the number of repetitions that should be used in a set, it really should not be confusing. In general, it is recommended that 6-20 reps be performed on each set. While this is a large range, it offers a guideline in which to create smaller rep ranges from. It is best to choose smaller ranges such as 6-10, 8-12, 10-15, or 15-20.

As long as your program continually challenges the athlete to perform a greater amount of work, strength gains will be made. Any rep range will work. There are, however, some subtle differences between the benefits of each rep range.

Lower rep ranges (i.e. under 6 reps) will stimulate the nervous system to a greater extent, but actual tissue changes may be more limited. Very heavy weight (relative to the athlete’s strength) must be used, which can be potentially dangerous because athlete may have a tendency to use improper technique to lift the weight.

In general, it is unnecessary for any middle-school or high school athlete to use weights that cannot be lifted at least 6 times with good form. Prepubescent athletes should generally use weights that allow for at least 10 reps.  This allows more repetitions with good form to solidify proficiency at the exercise.

Medium rep ranges (i.e. 6-10, 8-12, 10-15) offer the benefits of increasing strength, eliciting positive tissue changes, and allow for greater safety than very heavy weights. These rep ranges are recommended for most sets with young athletes.

Higher rep ranges (i.e. 15-20) offer the greatest results when muscular endurance is the goal. Endurance athletes may want to consider higher rep ranges. Young athletes or beginners may also consider higher rep ranges because it offers the opportunity to practice good technique. Strength will still be gained with higher rep ranges.

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #5: How much weight?

Strength Training Program for Young Athletes

Once a rep range is determined (for example 8-12 reps), selecting a weight is fairly easy. Have the athlete perform a set of as many reps as possible. If the athlete cannot perform at least 8 reps, the weight is too heavy and should be decreased at the next workout. If the athlete can perform more than 12 reps, the weight is too light and should be increased at the next workout.

Within 2-4 workouts, the optimal weight will be selected. This selection process gives the athletes the opportunity to practice technique and experiment with different resistances without having to go through maximal or sub-maximal testing.

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #6: How often should you train?

Selecting the number of training sessions per week is dependent upon many outside factors such as practice time, game schedule, outside activities, facility availability, etc. Generally, there will be more time available for strength training during the off-season than during a competitive season.

The following are some guidelines for the number of training days per week during different phases of the competitive cycle, with routine ideas in parenthesis:

  • Off-season: 2-4 days/week (2 or 3 total-body workouts per week T & Th, 2 upper & 2 lower body workouts/week M-T-Th-F or 3 days/week alternating upper & lower body routines M-W-F)
  • Pre-season: 2-3 days/week (2 or 3 total-body workouts per week, or 3 days/week alternating upper & lower body routines M-W-F)
  • In-season: 1-3 days/week (1- 3 total-body workouts per week, or 2-3 days/week alternating upper & lower body routines)

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #7: How long should the workout take?

Each strength training session should last 20-60 minutes. There is no reason for any high school strength workout to last more than 60 minutes.

Rest between sets should last about 1-2 minutes. This allows time for a partner to complete his/her set and the next exercise to be set up.

Work large muscles first.

In general, the order of exercises should begin with the largest muscle groups and move to smaller muscle groups.

Large muscle groups include the chest, upper back, and hips & quads. Smaller muscle groups include the shoulders, arms, hamstrings, calves and abdominals. An example of the order of a total body routine would be:

  • Explosive/plyometric Exercise
  • Hips & Quads (squatting-type movement)
  • Chest (upper body push)
  • Upper back (upper body pull)
  • Shoulders
  • Hamstrings
  • Arms
  • Calves
  • Abdominals
  • Neck

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #8: Variation

A workout routine should be changed every 6-12 weeks to offer new stressors to the body. A change can be very small such as changing the rep range, changing the number of sets per exercise, adding a new exercise or two, or changing the order of exercises. Change can also consist of a completely new routine. Small changes are all the body needs to continually make progress so don’t feel that it is necessary to create brand new programs.

The process of changing the workout routine is called periodization. This can get very complicated, and there are entire books written on the subject. To get started on a strength training program, it is not necessary to understand the intricacies of periodization. This workout is for beginner lifters, so for now, all that is important is to modify the workout every 6-12 weeks.  More advanced programming should be reserved for athletes with much more lifting experience.

Changing the routine too often does not allow the muscular tissue time to gradually adapt to the stress. If the routine is changed too quickly, it is difficult to determine whether or not the routine is working. Building strength requires a great deal of patience and persistence, so encourage athletes to be diligent.

Variety, however, can often keep athletes engaged, so it is encouraged to offer something slightly different every couple of weeks. All this means is that every 2-3 weeks, you change one or two things about the program for that day. You can increase or decrease the number of reps on an exercise, add additional sets of an exercise, add 1-2 new exercises, or give an unexpected day off.  Anything to make the workout a little different for the day in an effort to keep the athletes engaged.

Strength Training for Young Athletes Component #9: Off-season vs. Pre-season vs. In-season

Strength Training Program for Young Athletes

The time of the year is going to create more differences in your strength training program for young athletes design than just about anything else. While this can get very complicated, once again you are encouraged to keep it simple. The major differences between the programs you will design for each “season” are as follows:

  • Off-season: The off-season is the best time to make strength gains because fewer physical demands are placed on the body at this time. Overall training volume will generally be increased during the off-season. This means that more days per week may be used, more sets of each exercise and more energy overall will be spent on strength than any other time of the year. In general young athletes will train 2-4 days per week and use 15-20 total working sets per workout. Aerobic and anaerobic conditioning is generally de-emphasized during the off-season to allow more energy to be spent on gaining strength or the improvement of other deficiencies.  Developing speed is another common priority during the off-season.
  • Pre-season: Strength training will continue through the pre-season, but the overall volume will gradually decrease as more time and energy are spent on conditioning or fitness. In general, strength training will consist of 2-3 days per week and 12-15 total sets per workout. The intensity of each set may be increased as the volume of work is decreased.
  • In-season: It is absolutely imperative that strength training be continued through the competitive season. The total volume of work will be reduced, so the relative intensity can be increased. The workouts will be less frequent and shorter in duration. Athletes should strength train at least one day per week, and no more than three days. Workouts will take 20-40 minutes with a total of 10-14 working sets per workout.

The number of training days per week and volume of each workout will depend upon the competitive schedule and physical demands of the sport.

Decide what time of year it is, think about the facilities available, and consider which exercises you feel are most appropriate for you to teach and for your young athletes to perform.

Below is a partial list of exercises for each body-part.  By choosing exercises from each group, you will begin to create a comprehensive, well-rounded program.  Balance all sides of a joint by performing equal work on each side.  For example, if you two sets of upper body pushing, you should balance it with two sets of upper body pulling.  This is a basic guideline to follow when getting started with young athletes.

Quads & Hips: Pick 1-4 Exercises

  • Squat, Goblet Squat or Front Squat
  • Deadlift or Trap Bar Squat
  • Leg Press
  • Lunges DB
  • 3-D Lunges
  • Leg Extension
  • Glute Ham Raise
  • Airball Squat
  • Hip Thrust/Glute Bridge

Hamstrings: Pick 1-2 Exercises

  • Leg Curl
  • Airball Leg Curl
  • RDL/Hip-hinge
  • Glute-Ham Raise/Hyperextension
  • Kettlebell Swing

Calves: Pick 0-1 Exercise

  • Standing Calf Raise
  • Seated Calf Raise
  • 1-Leg Calf Raise

Upper Body Push: Pick 1-3 Exercises

  • Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, Decline Bench Press
  • DB Bench Press, Incline DB Bench Press, Decline DB Bench Press
  • Machine Press
  • Dips
  • Push Ups

Upper Body Pull: Pick 1-3 Exercises

  • Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups
  • Pulldown
  • DB Row
  • Cable/Machine Row
  • Close Grip Pulldown
  • DB Pullover
  • Inverted Row
  • Shrugs

Shoulders: Pick 1-3 Exercises

  • Overhead Press, Seated/Standing with DBs or Barbell
  • Machine Military Press
  • DB Lateral Raise/Front Raise/Bent Over Raise
  • Band Pull-a-parts
  • Internal Rotation External Rotation

Biceps: Pick 0-1 Exercise

  • Barbell Curl
  • DB Curl
  • Hammer Curl

Triceps: Pick 0-1 Exercise

  • Dips
  • Close Grip Press
  • Skullcrushers
  • Pushdowns
  • DB Overhead Extensions

Forearms/Hands: Pick 0-2 Exercises

  • Wrist Curl
  • Wrist Extension
  • Reverse Curl
  • Wrist Roller
  • Farmers Walk
  • Towel Chins
  • Plate Pinch

Abdominals/Low Back: Pick 1-3 Exercises

  • Sit-Ups
  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank Variations
  • Side Planks
  • Back Extension
  • Superman
  • Ab Rockers

Neck: Pick 1-3 Exercises

  • Machine or Manual Resistance Neck Flexion, Extension or Lateral Flexion
  • Shrugs

And There You Have The Building Blocks of a Strength Training Program For Young Athletes.

Let me know what you think!


Want to help make sure your athletes are prepared to perform for the long-run and not just for next week’s big game?

Download our FREE Prepared to Perform Video to hear youth coaching expert Wil Fleming break down critical aspects of the long-term athlete model.

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About the AuthorJim Kielbaso

Jim Kielbaso is currently the director of the Total Performance Training Center in Wixom, Michigan where he still trains athletes every day.  He went to Michigan State University for a BS in Exercise Science and became a traitor when he went to the University of Michigan for his M.S. in Kinesiology.  Jim got his NSCA-CSCS back in 1995, and did the NASM Certified Personal Fitness Trainer certification back in 1993 when you actually had to go to Chicago and do the whole thing live, in-person. Jim was the Strength & Conditioning Coach at the University of Detroit Mercy from 1996-2002 and earned the distinction of NSCA Strength & Conditioning Professional of the Year for the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) in 1998. Jim was also an adjunct faculty member at UDM, teaching several courses in the Department of Sports Medicine. He also served as the State Director for the National Strength & Conditioning Association for six years, and Regional Coordinator for four years. He has written several books and contributes regularly to the IYCA.

Making Strength Training Fun for Young Athletes using Resistance Bands

Making Youth Fitness Training Fun with Resistance Bands

Speed and Agility Training Program 3

A t least once a week, I am asked about youth fitness training using bands, and in most cases, all I can envision is kids being put through a grueling workout using big bands that literally throw them around like a human slingshot .

OK, maybe I am a little off, but I see a lot of things on YouTube that scare me when it comes to training young athletes.

So here’s a tip on how to have your athletes naturally enjoy training:

If you really want to make youth fitness training fun, start making the training game-oriented.

My goal with any young athlete resistance band workout is to get them to train instinctively because when they reach that level, they are as close to a game situation as they possibly can be. At that moment, training becomes fun because athletes are thinking about competing, not training.

Over the past several years, I have had the chance to test some resistance band training games with youth fitness training and wanted to share some of these simple training games with everyone in the IYCA.

Video – Partner Zigzag training for Young Athletes
Young athletes need direction and a target. I find cone drills like a simple Zigzag drill to accomplish both of these. The key to this drill is making sure athletes have a good understanding of how to shuffle or backpedal and how to hold for their partner. Once this is accomplished, Zigzag drills are very easy to implement. Within about 2 minutes, you will have taught and trained a young athlete how to decelerate in the frontal and sagittal planes while developing good reactive strength from their trunk, hips, and quadriceps.

 

 

Video – Ricochet
Ricochet is a drill I developed to teach deceleration in youth fitness training. It has become a training game because athletes can compete while performing it. It can be used for all band locomotion drills but can also be effectively used for strength training drills as well. The video below demonstrates how it works with locomotion. It is used for strength training drills in essentially the same way, with athletes alternating back and forth during the strength exercise. This format is great for developing teamwork, but it is also very effective at improving strength endurance—especially when done for a 2-minute time interval.

 

 

Video – Partner Reaction
This drill is where athletes get to test their partner, who now is their opponent. Athletes face off where one is offense and one is defense. Defense must react to offense and try to mirror them during the drill. Best drills for this are shuffle or turn-and-go drills. Also, 2-step deceleration drills work well with this setup. This is also a coaching favorite because you allow the kids to dictate the start and stopping point of the drill.

 

 

1-Minute Partner Challenge
The 1-minute partner drill is fun because you can do it with 2, 3, 4, or 5 athlete teams. You can do all the same exercise or you can have each athlete do a separate exercise for 1 minute. The goal is to get as many reps as possible in 1 minute before transitioning to another exercise. My favorite band exercise for this are:

  • Band Push ups
  • Assisted pull ups
  • Split Squats
  • Squat Jumps
  • Front Squats
  • Overhead Press
  • Turn and go (touching a cone)

To make this entire resistance band training game experience just a little more motivating, all these games can be played anywhere because bands are so portable. This means:

  • Kids can train at their practice site and not have to go into a smelly weight room
  • Trainers can have athletes train outside where it is much more enjoyable to do
  • Coaches can throw these types of drills into practice any time and supplement conditioning with strength training

To be a successful youth coach, you must find ways to motivate young athletes starting from a very young age and continuing throughout their high school years. Resistance bands can provide a definite change of pace that athletes find fun and challenging at the same time.

 

Getting BETTER with BANDS

 

Dave Schmitz

 

P.S. On this final video, I thought you would enjoy watching 2 very special young athletes have some fun competing while training in bands. Pay special attention to the laughing that comes along with this type of training. To this day, Kenzie and Carter Schmitz (yep these 2 are mine; I thank God every day) still talk about this experience and when they will be able to do it again. This is yet another reminder that youth fitness training doesn’t have to be filled with boring, routine drills; competition is a great thing!

Video – Kids Getting The Best of Some Fitness Pros

 

 

 

If you are looking for a fun and exciting new component to add to your training programs that will have your young athletes performing their best then check out the IYCA Resistance Band Course. In this course you will learn how to use one of the most versatile, and effective, training tools for young athletes!

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http://iyca.org/bands/

Teaching Young Athletes the Kettlebell Snatch

 

Kettlebell Snatch For Young Athletes

 

by Jason C Brown (more…)

Alternative Methods for Training Explosive Strength To High School Athletes

 

 

High School Athletes Strength Training

 

 

high school athletes

By Wil Fleming

Nearly all high school athletes, with very few exceptions, need to
develop explosive strength.

 

 

The instances in which the skill of explosive strength are used in
sports are endless, but when used “explosiveness” is very apparent.

 

A linemen firing off from their stance.

 

A soccer player rising above his opponents to head a ball toward goal.

 

A volleyball player making a quick lateral move to reach for the dig.

 

Instances of explosive strength are very vivid when used and typically are a part of a game changing play.

 

Typically I would now talk about the importance of Olympic lifts, but in some instances using a barbell is not possible due to equipment limitations or even the readiness of the athlete. In those instances, the need for High School Athletes does not diminish, but the need for creativity does increase.

 

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Making Youth Training Work No Matter What

Youth Training Systems

Youth Training

 

(1) Create An Ascension System

 

Prior to my arrival, if you watched the Novice Teams (8 – 11 years old) go through their conditioning regime and then you watched the Senior Team (16 – 18) right after, you’d have trouble distinguishing the difference.

 

Exercise Selection.

 

Volume.

 

Coaching Style/Intensity.

 

Across the board; identical.

 

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Young Athletes and Skill Sets Part 2

Young Athletes Skills Part 2

by Dr. Toby Brooks

young athletes

KISS Me: Skill Setting the Jump Shot (Part II)

 

If you read my last post, you followed along as I walked us through the first three steps to consistent jump shot performance for a young basketball player. We discussed how the athlete should “catch,” “set,” and “see.”

 

In this installment, we will finish the jump shot skill set by discussing the other four keys, “dip,” “extend,” “flip,” and “crash.” As we discussed last time, it is likely ultimately more functional to further simplify this skill set into even fewer keys, however, for teaching purposes, the seven step approach will allow us to be highly specific without unnecessarily confusing the young athletes.

 

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7 Steps to Programming for young athletes: Part 2

Programming for young athletes

Here’s where I left off yesterday…

 

Moreover, I’d be willing to bet that 90% or better of the 13 year olds who walk into your facility would ‘fail’ this standard assessment:

 

  1. They’re growing and lack mobility
  2. They growing and lack coordination
  3. They sit all day and have inappropriate hip functionality as a result
  4. They’ve been introduced to improper ‘training’ and lack posterior strength

 

A formal assessment can certainly show us gains, improvements and corrections when performed at regular intervals – and because of that, I am all for them.

 

But here’s what I’ve learned to be true about coaching young athletes in the trenches:

 

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Young Athletes: Teaching the Olympic Snatch – Part 2

by Wil Fleming – www.beforcefit.com

 

Young Athletes and Olympic Snatch

Jumping into the second step

The second step in our process is very simple. In order to teach the correct methods of activation at the hips, ask your athletes to jump again. This time with the bar in their hands, in a building block method cue the athlete to the start position and then cue with the simple word “jump”.  Using this simple switch word, the athlete will begin to extend the hips, within  moments of beginning hip extension a slight re-bend of the knees will occur.

 

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Young Athletes: The Key to Agility Is Positioning

 

 

Young Athletes Agility

 

Tony Reynolds young athletesTony Reynolds says…

Personally, I have never thought of flexibility or mobility as a factor that plays a huge role in an athlete being able to assume an athletic stance. I do not see where there is enough flexion/extension in any joint throughout the chain where this is really an issue. If you are getting that low you are never going to be overly quick out of the position.

 

For me, it has always been a matter of reeducation. Young athletes simply have no idea how to align their bodies to create the most effective angles for spontaneous multi directional movement. Often they have been coached wrong or not coached at all and have created their own interpretation of the stance.

 

So then it comes down to teaching. Therefore, one must be careful with their “selection of words” when describing movements and positions to kids and young.

 

For instance, flat back can often also mean a completely vertical torso. MANY kids will automatically make this correlation (and so do many coaches.)

 

I prefer using the terms “neutral” and “tilted.” As Kwame suggested, we work on rounding the spine, we work on arching the spine, and we work on keeping the spine in a “neutral” alignment. Then it is a matter or “tilting” the neutral spine forward as the hips move back.

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Favorite Strength Training Exercises for Young Athletes

Strength Training Exercises for Young Athletes

Tony Reynolds is a cut above almost every Strength Coach I know.

 

And that’s why he’s 100% in charge of the content for the message board
on www.IYCAMembers.com

 

When our Members have questions about training young athletes, their
is no one in the world I trust more than Tony to answer them.

 

But not only does Tony answer questions, he also contributes to the message
board every day with fantastic thoughts, opinions and suggestions.

 

Tony detailed some of his favorite strength training exercises to use with young
athletes last week and I just had to make sure that you saw this goldmine of
information. Below is a description of one of these exercises:

 

Single Leg Low Pulley RDL

 

Equipment:
Low pulley lowered as far down as it will go (ankle height) with a “D” handle attached.

 

Starting Position:
Grasp the D-handle in your right hand and face the pulley. Move far enough away from the pulley so you can perform a full range of motion without the plates touching the stack.

 

Stand on your left foot with your head up, base leg knee slightly bent (10-15 degrees), spine neutral but tilted, and hips pushed slightly back.

 

The Motion:
Flex at the base leg hip. As your torso moves forward and down “push” your free leg back for counter-balance. The free leg hip should not flex during the exercise.

 

You may need to slightly flex the base leg knee an additional few degrees as your hips travel back. This will allow you to keep your weight on the back half of your foot and reach forward maximally with the d-handle while keeping a neutral but tilted spine.

 

Descend until your back is near parallel with the ground. Reverse the motion and return to the top.

 

Things to Avoid:
Letting your hips push out to the side.
Dropping the base leg knee valgus
Over flexing the base leg knee…its an RDL not a squat
Losing a neutral spinal alignment
Loading the front half of the base foot
Hyperextending the hips/spine at termination of the ascent

 

 

Let me know some of your favorite strength training exercises for young athletes below

 

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Exercise Programs For Kids and The Art Of Teaching Speed

Exercise Programs For Kids Speed Training

One of my favorite things to teach, both to young athletes as well as
Coaches, is the mechanics of speed.

 

Deceleration techniques specifically.

 

And that’s because speed is seldom taught as a skill at all.

 

Usually, the ‘speed work’ of a training session consists of some hurdles,
cones, sprinting and ‘plyo’ exercises with little attention being paid to
form or function.

 

Simply put, we don’t often TEACH speed and respect it in the way we
should.

 

Young athletes can (and should) be taught how to become faster and
more efficient from a movement perspective.

 

And in order to do that correctly, you must have a progressive system
in place that allows them to learn.

 

I always teach speed by instructing on the skill of deceleration first –
and I teach that from both a lateral and linear perspective.

 

Here’s my overview for teaching the skill of lateral deceleration for Exercise Programs For Kids:

 

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