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Safe Strength Training: using common and not-so-common tools

The most frequent questions we get from parents, as it relates to their athletes, usually have to do with strength training, ie, appropriate age, safety concerns, type of equipment used, frequency, loading parameters for eg.

Previously, in a separate blogpost, I highlighted the 8 common movement patterns we use in our programming. This blog post will specifically highlight some of the pieces of equipment we use, with safety being the number 1 variable first taken into account.

Yes, strength training is safe, when coached and implemented properly.

A couple of research articles to highlight the vaue of strength training for youth athletes:

Think of strength training as a catch-all term for building strength. It might include using one's bodyweight. It might include #weighttraining. It might include using a barbell. Ultimately it depends on an athlete's training AND chronological age, growth issues, and physical limitations that we discovered during the evaluation. In fact, often times for a lot of athletes, sprint training is strength training.

First, let's address bodyweight exercises. We often hear from parents that they want their athletes to only perform bodyweight exercises up to a certain age, a reasonable request, especially with the amount of misinformation surrouding strength training and youth athletes.

We're big fans of bodyweight exercises. Push-ups, Broad jumps, pogos, chin-ups. While bodyweight exercises are a great starting point, we also recognize it's limitations, especially with limited overload and progression options. To maximize athletic development, athletes need more variety.

Listed below are a sampling of some of the equipment we use to help get athletes results faster. Highlighted below are 8 "tools" that we use in our programming broken down by movement patterns, in comparison to muscle group/s.

Upper body Power (Rate of force developement RFD): Dynamax Ball Slams

Resisted sprinting with the Ohm Run. Can be adjusted to very low intensity if working on power and speed or increased resistance if working on lower body strength.

Submaximal Omni-directional loading: Half kneeling Vipr Pro Chops

Vertical pulling: Inverted rows using Lebert Bars

Combo Exercise: Sled push - working upper and lower body strength

Knee dominant Exercise: Front foot elevated split squat using Dumbbells

Horizontal pulling: Standing Cable Rows

Hip Dominant focus: Glute Ham Raises


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