Weight Training For Teenage Athletes
Teenage athletes are often advised to stick with their sport, practice regularly, and not worry about anything else. This advise has validity, as consistent practice is important for developing the specific skills athletes need. However, just practicing your sport alone is often not enough. When done correctly, weight training is a valuable addition to a young athletes training routine and can assist in injury prevention, maintaining muscle balance and increasing overall performance in their chosen sport.
The Importance of Weight Training for Teenage Athletes
Weight training is beneficial for athletes because it:
• Strengthens your muscles and bones
• Improves your stability
• Promotes good posture
• Develops kinaesthetic awareness
• Promotes a healthy metabolism
Most types of athletes benefit from weight training because the practice improves their physical abilities, making them better able to achieve peak performance. For instance, lifting weights leads to stronger muscles and bones, making athletes more resilient and better able to stand their ground. Weight training also develops the core stabiliser muscles and promotes good posture, leading to more stability and a lower risk of falling. On top of that, weights are beneficial for developing kinaesthetic awareness, which refers to your ability to feel your body and how it moves through space. Having that is important for performing well, staying safe, and becoming more efficient with your movements.
The First Steps to Weight Training As A Young Athlete
1. Focus on Compound Lifts
Compound, also known as multi-joint lifts, are activities that train several muscle groups at a time. Notable examples include the bench press, deadlift, and squat.
Performing compound lifts is beneficial for athletes because these activities develop your strength more efficiently, improve your balance, and lead to better inter-muscular coordination. As a result, you become faster, stronger, more stable, and less likely to get injured.
2. Don’t Push too Hard
Teenage athletes are often eager to excel and prove themselves, so they train extra hard. Doing so isn’t necessarily bad because hard work is essential. But, pushing yourself too hard can lead to recovery issues that impact your athletic performance.
Here are some simple rules to follow:
• Have no more than three strength sessions weekly
• Keep each session to no more than an hour in length
• Avoid training to failure; always leave one to three reps in the tank
• Give yourself enough recovery time between sets
3. Understand the Basics
The basics of weight training include:
• Proper form matters most. Regardless of how much weight you train with, always ensure you’re lifting it with proper technique and through a full range of motion.
• Small and steady improvements are necessary for making long-term progress in the form of strength and muscle gain.
• Breathe correctly on each repetition for optimal performance and whole-body stability. On most exercises, you should breathe in before initiating the repetition and exhale as you complete it.
• Maintain consistent tempo. Lift and lower the weight for around two seconds and add a second-long pause at the top of each repetition. Doing so is vital for accumulating time under tension and engaging your muscles effectively.
ENZED Fitness provides a safe, educational and supportive environment for teenagers wanting to add weight training into their program. If you are interested in learning more please chat to one of our professional trainers.