Impacting a HS Year Round Strength & Conditioning Program with Bands
As a strength and conditioning coach of a local high school where I have over 80 young high school athletes training in our weight room 4 days per week, I am constantly evaluating our efficiency and results.
Resistance bands have easily been our most versatile and cost effective training tool to date. Not only do the kids find bands to be extremely challenging to train with, but they also enjoy the ability to improve their free weight training results.
Anytime we can provide a training tool that motivates high school athletes to work harder, train more frequently and enjoy doing it, only good things happen.
I would like to share 10 ways, as a coach, you can implement continuously looped resistance bands into a high school strength and conditioning program.
1. Dynamic Flexibility Training
No question the greatest impact on keeping young athletes healthy, besides strength training, is making sure their joints and muscles are able to move freely through a full range of motion on demand.
A majority of youth injuries are directly associated with flexibility deficits due to frequent growth spurts. Unfortunately athletes do not like to stretch and if they do stretch, it’s often using simple body-weight movements performed poorly.
Band stretching allows athletes to use the band to passively and actively lengthen out key muscles of the hip and shoulder. Using a tool, in this case the band, to stretch seems to provide athletes with an added motivation to routinely perform a dynamic stretching routine.
This series of band stretches performed before every lift or running workout allows athletes to follow a routine program. Over time it creates permanent soft tissue length changes that athletes quickly recognize.
What’s even more interesting is the longer athletes perform the band stretching routine, the more they begin to appreciate the importance of flexibility and how it directly impacts improvement in strength, speed and power. These are not often recognized as flexibility benefits.
Dynamic Band Stretching with Young Athletes
2. Trunk and Hip Activation
The importance of establishing good activation of the trunk and hip stabilizers pre-workout is pretty well documented.
Using the same single band that was incorporated in the band stretching routine, athletes can quickly perform a series of resisted planks or hip stabilization exercises that will optimally prepare them for any running or lifting workout.
This series of band stabilization drills makes it convenient and easy to flow directly from stretching into a muscle activation series of exercises.
Simple Core Activation Exercises
3. Auxiliary Training
Free weight training should be a key part of any high school athletic-based strength program. However, regardless if that type of program emphasizes the use of kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells or sandbags, the type of resistance remains the same in that it is a gravity dependent constant resistance.
Resistance bands provide an ascending resistance that is not reliant on gravity. As a result, continuously looped bands can be used to create auxiliary exercises following different planes of motion or movement patterns while impacting muscles significantly different than free weights.
Combining straight plane free weight movements with multi-plane, multi-resistance vector band strength training allows the body to eliminate weak links in what is a total kinetic chain, tri-plane structure.
5 Best Lower Body Band Exercises for Youth Strength Training
5 Best Upper Body Band Exercises for Youth Strength Training
Stay tuned for Part 2 which will cover how to use resistance bands to improve barbell strength and sport specific conditioning as well as using them to develop a safe and effective middle school strength development program.
Dave Schmitz – The Band Man
About the Author: Dave Schmitz
Dave Schmitz (aka…The Band Man) is the Co-Owner of Resistance Band Training Systems, LLC and the creator of https://resistancebandtraining.com, the only website exclusively devoted to training with large continuously looped resistance bands.
Dave has a unique professional background and vast experience as an orthopedic physical therapist, performance enhancement specialist, certified strength and conditioning specialist along with 27 plus years of living fitness and performance training.
All of this has allowed him to turn a simple 41-inch resistance band into an incredibly multi-faceted total training experience for 1000’s of athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world—while helping 100’s of fitness professionals and coaches get their clients or athletes BETTER with BANDS.