Even though it feels like we just put away our winter coats, but fall is here and the time to prepare for winter sport is upon us.. For winter athletes, it’s time to start thinking about gaining the strength needed for a successful season. Strength training now can not only improve athletic performance, but can also significantly reduce the risk of injury.
Many parents understand that being a well-conditioned, strong athlete puts you at an advantage in your sport, however many people don’t realize the benefit to strength training, specifically. Athletes and non-athletes alike can achieve great benefits from a strength program including athletic prowess, weight loss, increased energy, and healthy lifestyle habits. A well-designed 8-12 week strength training program can increase a child’s strength by as much as 50%. Here are specific ways strength training can help:
Basketball: Ankle and knee injuries are abundant in basketball. Having a solid core, hip and ankle workout routine can reduce your risk of injury and keep you on the court rather than on the bench.
Wrestling: Flexibility and stability is essential when competing on the mat. Working with someone who understands the stress placed on the body during a wrestling match can help to ensure you are ready to compete at that next level.
Swimming: Shoulder and upper extremity injuries can run amuck in the pool. Making sure you maintain shoulder and core stability without losing flexibility is essential to keeping you in the water.
It’s important to make sure your workouts are focusing on what your needs are as an athlete in your respective sport. Working with a professional who understands your sport can ensure that you are equipped to handle the risks and reduce your chances of injury. Strength training can begin as early as middle school with body weight exercises. As the body develops and matures, more resistance can be added to exercises to maximize the workout and results. When done correctly, strength training can not only elicit measurable strength gains, but can also be fun and challenging for the individual.