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Off-Season Training for Youth Athletes

An off-season training plan is essential for youth athletes to help them recover both physically and mentally and to build a solid foundation for success. It should include training to correct and improve on physical imbalances such as muscle mass, strength, speed, power and agility. Many sports teams recognize the need to maintain fitness, and include physical training in their on and off-season programs. However, one group workout for 30-45 minutes per week is really not adequate to maintain or build fitness.

Let's have a closer look at ways to help a young athlete prepare for a competitive season.

Functional Movement Training

Functional movement training (FMT) works on several muscle groups at once with the intent to train movements, not muscle, and help the athlete move better. FMT also addresses poor biomechanics that your body may be experiencing due to restrictions or limitations and helps to correct these.

We may notice athletes perform their sport without considering the variety of spiral and diagonal movements they execute. FMT works to improve these movements and help an athlete achieve a lean and toned physique by engaging the core muscles. Studies also show that FMT is more effective than strength training to improve functional performance and neuromuscular control and reduce the likelihood of injuries.

At SwingFitt™, unifying the muscle groups to reduce injury is the core of our program, so you'll find a lot of FMT wrapped into your workout.

Building Aerobic Endurance

Increasing aerobic endurance improves the efficiency of an athlete's energy and movements while on the field. Efficiency can be determined by using the heart rate as a source of information to determine athletic performance. The goal is to lower resting heart rate and boost capacity and energy stores through cross-training. Choose a different type of exercise or sport instead of the one you perform competitively.

For example, if a great deal of time is spent running, choose swimming, cycling or rowing. Train for 2-3 sessions per week at 60-70 percent maximum heart rate for 20-40 minutes.

Alternate the aerobic training days with resistance and strength training, or alternatively combine both into one workout.

Resistance and Strength Training

Baseball and Football both require power for throwing, and power is heavily dependent on muscular strength. Throwing builds muscular endurance, which is also reliant on muscular strength. Similarly, Golf players also depend heavily upon muscle strength, for endurance and club head speed. For these reasons it's essential to maintain muscular strength during the off-season.

Our SwingFitt™ Scoops exercise, demonstrated in our SwingFitt™ at the Beach video, and our Ribbons exercise, are both excellent for increasing strength in the shoulders, triceps, chest and legs (required for throwing and a strong swing.) Alternatively, push-ups, and the tried-and-true full burpee, can also be performed without the stress of heavy weights.

Be sure to recover after each training session to allow the muscles to "grow" and "rest." If the muscle is still store on training day or the athlete is unusually tired, another day of recovery is needed.

Conclusion

The most effective way to design, organize and implement a successful off-season training program is to use a well-qualified coach and trainer. They can provide skilled consultations and adjustments to a program to ensure it is highly productive for a great competitive season!

Melissa Pranzo is the Founder of SwingFitt™ and Swing4All.org. She is a licensed RMT trainer, a life-long elite athlete, and lover of life and sports. Melissa and her son, Cooper, live in Tampa where SwingFitt™ and Swing4All.org are based.

#muscle #fitnesstraining #training #youthperformance #athletes

Tel: +1 813-551-2255

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