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Strength Training Guidelines for Youth Athletes

Strength training for youth athletes is a very safe practice as long as they are taught proper technique and are supervised while performing their workouts. For elite level youth athletes it is an important part of their training program.This article gives a list of some basic exercises to train each body part effectively.

Sets:
Perform 1 - 3 sets of each depending on the overall goal
Reps:
Complete 8 - 12 reps of each
Intensity:
Each set should be completed to failure which should be between 8 and 12 reps if the weight is chosen correctly.
Progression:
Increasing weight by 5-10% when you can complete a full 12 reps
Speed:
Your tempo should be 2 seconds to lift the weight, 4 seconds to put it back down. Just remember the 2-4 rule.
Range:
Use a full range of motion to get the most benefit and a full stretch in the muscle.
Frequency:
Recovery time is important so train every other day.
Sequence:
Strength training should involve larger muscles and compound movements first, followed by smaller muscles and isolation exercises.

A recommended order would be:
Hips
Legs
Back
Shoulders
Chest
Arms
Midsection
Lower back

Exercises:
Triceps: bar dips, bench press, barbell triceps extension (standing and reclining)
Biceps: barbell and dumbbell curls
Forearms: wrist roll, wrist curl (and reverse curl)
Front shoulder (anterior and middle deltoid), dumbbell front raise, bench press, behind neck military press
Rear shoulder: bent-over row
Upper back: upright row, shoulder shrug
Back: upright barbell row, bent-over dumbbell row
Lower back: back extensions, straight-leg deadlift
Buttocks: barbell squat, dumbbell lunge
Abdominals: bent knee situps
Hamstrings: barbell squat
Quads: barbell squat, dumbbell lunge
Shins: toe raises
Calves: standing and seated calf raise

Youth athletes new to strength training should start with a light weight you are sure you can do and progress slowly to avoid injuries and becoming too sore when first starting out.

Check out our YouTube page for video instructions on these exercises.

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