Why Should Youth Athletes Resistance Train?

  • By Dynamic Sports Training
  • 13 Apr, 2017

DST Sports Performance Specialist, Sammy Knox

To keep and improve flexibility.

When we are born, we have excessive joint mobility and flexibility. As we grow up, we lose the mobility we don’t use and retain some based on the activities we do and sports we play. This plays a role in the compensations we develop. For example: As a baseball player, you partake in thousands of reps of swinging and throwing using one side of your body prior to high school -- this is what we would label “functional compensations” --  as the excessive range of motion a pitcher gets in the shoulder is a big contributor in how well they can throw a baseball. On the flip-side, it is likely to cause certain issues when performing other activities that require more symmetry. Lifting weights and learning how to perform your basic movement patterns properly will help to improve and maintain joint mobility while building stability and strength.

Mobility without stability is just as much an injury risk as an overly stiff body that lacks mobility.

By creating stability in a given range of motion, you are more likely to retain that joint mobility. Think of resistance training as pressing the save button. If you only quarter squat, you will likely lose the ability to achieve full hip flexion compared to someone that squats with load through a full range of motion. By training from a young age, we develop the functional mobility and strength that sets the athlete up for greater improvements down the road, along with a decreased risk of injury.

Gravity is resistance

I had a parent ask me recently, after seeing one of our youth athletes doing cleans, when the time was right to start resistance training. I explained to him that everyone does resistance training in life as soon as they are born. Let me explain. How does a baby stand up for the first time? Well, after trying over and over and failing to overcome their own bodyweight and gravity, they eventually build up enough strength and coordination to stand up and walk without falling. Fast forward a few years and those kids are running, jumping, and exploring the world through movement. Each ground contact during running is upwards of three times your bodyweight. Even some of the strongest NFL players will never lift anything that heavy in the weight room. Ever seen a young child jump off the monkey bars or from the swing and land on the ground from high up in the air? Did you worry about them and the health of their body? These are joint forces that are much more extreme than anything they could do in a controlled weight training session with a knowledgeable trainer. By participating in resistance training, a good coach can teach proper mechanics and help build a more resilient body, thereby reducing the risk of injury in sport.

Where are all the farm boys with stunted growth?

It doesn’t matter if we are lifting barbells or a bail of hay, resistance is resistance. Most people have heard that lifting weights at an early age will stunt the growth of a growing child. If this were the case, why aren’t children who grew up on farms (or other scenarios where physical labor was unavoidable) deformed and broken? Bails of hay, buckets of water, and wheelbarrows full of dirt all add up and are relatively heavy just like barbells and dumbbells. We have yet to see an epidemic where these children grow up to be hindered by it. Most of them reap the benefits of a strong mind and body as well as a robust general capacity to do physical work.

Let me emphasize that I am not condoning jumping into resistance training blindly. Everything is about progression. Loading the spine with back squats will not be on the agenda on day one or maybe even year one. An experienced eye will know when someone has earned the right to progress and, when that day comes, that is exactly what should be done. Do your research and find a good coach to guide your young athlete. I firmly believe you can find just that here at Dynamic Sports Training.

Dynamic Sports Training Blog

By Dynamic Sports Training 19 Oct, 2017
Sammy is a Personal Trainer and Sports Performance Specialist at our DST West location. Sammy received his Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Houston and has been a Personal Trainer since 2011.  As an athlete, Sammy played baseball up through the junior college level. He is currently a competitive powerlifter. His passion is to teach athletes of all skill levels how to get the most out of their given abilities.

"I love asking Sammy questions about training and nutrition. He's like a walking encyclopedia when it comes to that stuff. He explains it in depth and really thoroughly - I learn a lot just from talking to him. And you can tell he loves it when he talks about it. It's fun to see him do what he loves each day." -Rachel Owens, Digital Content Manager 
By Dynamic Sports Training 17 Oct, 2017

Scapular push-ups are a basic exercise designed to target the serratus anterior muscle which is a mover in protraction and upward rotation of the scapulae. While the scapular push-up is not necessarily the most ideal way to target protraction and upward rotation, it is a good beginner’s exercise to gain awareness and control of the scapulae, and specifically, the serratus anterior.

Three Coaching Cues:

  1. Start in a plank position with the elbows under the shoulders and a neutral spine.

  2. Slowly descend into scapular retraction (bringing the shoulder blades together or pinching) without compromising a neutral spine.

  3. Press the elbows into the floor and drive into protraction (taking the shoulder blades as far apart from each other as possible or push apart).

The scapular push-up can be used as an assessment or a reinforcement technique within a strength program (especially for younger athletes).

By Dynamic Sports Training 16 Oct, 2017
This weekend had it all for Houston sports fans: drama, excitement, and most importantly,  wins.

The city is electric with the Astros' exciting postseason run and the newfound success of the Texans. We can't help but join in on fun by recognizing a couple of our own who came up big for our hometown teams over the weekend.

Correa Leads Astros to 2-0 Lead in ALCS

 The Astros collected a pair of 2-1 victories over the New York Yankees this weekend. While pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander stifled the Yankees lineup, SS Carlos Correa took care of business behind the plate. Correa batted in 3 of 4 Astros runs in Games 1 & 2 and scored the other. 

Game 1: Carlos got the scoring going when he brought 2B Jose Altuve in with a 4th inning single. Correa would score later in the inning by way of a single from Yuli Gurriel.

Game 2: Carlos got the Astros started in the 4th inning again when he launched a solo shot 350 feet over the right field wall. After a quick 5th inning response by the Yankees, the game remained tied going into the bottom of the 9th. Correa batted 3rd in the inning and, with one on and one out, came up clutch with a walk-off double to lead the Astros to their second 2-1 victory in as many days.
By Dynamic Sports Training 13 Oct, 2017

If you go to your favorite search engine and type the word “leadership” in the search bar, it’s going to pull up thousands of articles and quotes online on the subject of leadership and characteristics of great leaders. You’ll find pearls of wisdom from world leaders, sports figures, legends and icons past and present.

I don’t presume I can give better insight into the subject of leadership than so many greater men and women have already done. Instead, I want to take what has already been said and try to apply it to our everyday lives -- to give tangible examples on how to live into the principles of leadership.

Leaders Have A Clear Vision

“Action without vision is only passing time. Vision without action is merely day dreaming. But vision with action can change the world.” - Nelson Mandela

It’s essentially impossible to lead when you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing. Without a goal or purpose in mind, it’s also very hard for anyone to “buy in” to you as a leader. When you have a clear vision worth working toward, I believe you’ll find yourself alongside others working to help you achieve that vision.

No matter where your leadership role is -- on a team, in a business, or within your family or group of friends -- you’ll have a much greater impact if you can cast a clear vision and plan on how to get where you want to go.

Leaders Build Relationships

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” - Theodore Roosevelt

Take a brief moment to think of the best leaders you’ve had in your own life. I’m willing to bet whoever just came to mind had a few of very important things in common:

  • They spent time getting to know you.
  • They made it clear you mattered to them.
  • They challenged you and pushed you to be better.

Who wants to follow someone who doesn’t care about them? I’ve heard several horror stories about people who hated their jobs because of how terrible their boss was. In the vast majority of these cases, the issues were personal not professional -- they didn’t feel valued or cared for as individuals.

If you want to achieve your goals and fulfill your vision, you’ll need the help of a team. To keep that team in tact, you need to invest in each and every one of them. Don’t just tell them, but show them they’re valued and build a personal relationship with them. In short, treat them the way you want to be treated.

Leaders Empower Others

“Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” - John Maxwell

That theory was put to the test here at DST this past year. When the Los Angeles Angels reached out to our owner to join their staff, Lee could have passed on the opportunity because he was needed here. Instead, he took the interview knowing full well what the results here could be. That decision instilled great confidence in our team. By moving forward, he conveyed his trust in us to thrive without him here.

Empowering others is a process. It means focusing on the what and not the how.  It can mean giving up control and relying on others to operate in their own styles and methods; or letting others make changes, try new things, and even fail on their own. But it’s an ability leaders need to ultimately succeed. Because at the end of the day, leaders aren’t making followers...

Leaders Make Other Leaders

“True leaders don’t create followers. They create more leaders.” - Tom Peters
By Dynamic Sports Training 12 Oct, 2017
Kevin Williams started his internship with Dynamic Sports Training at the DST North location at Premier Baseball of Texas in Tomball, Texas in September of 2017. 
By Dynamic Sports Training 10 Oct, 2017

Physical limitations can create mechanical issues. Increasing the range of motion through the thoracic spine creates separation so force can be transferred without “energy leaks”. You can’t have sufficient rotation when you are stuck with a rounded upper back posture. The Baby Hip Bridge exercise helps increase range of motion through the thoracic spine. Here are the three keys we’re looking for in the Baby Hip-Bridge:

1. Thoracic Spine Rotation: If we lack thoracic rotation, our arms will drag to try and create separation. In addition, to make up for a lack of thoracic rotation, we will sacrifice lumbar stability to maintain an upright torso. Sufficient mobility in the “T-Spine” (upper back) allows essential separation of the hips and hands during your swing, throws and pitches. Lack of thoracic mobility can also cause anterior shoulder issues in pitchers, who compensate for lack of range by creating external rotation in the wrong places such as the shoulder joint.

2. Shoulder Stability:
The shoulder is a tricky joint because it has to provide adequate stability while maintaining full mobility. This exercise focuses on keeping the shoulders in a stacked position, and can create strength through stability added with thoracic rotation.

3. Psoas (Hip-Flexor):
Proper hip mobility while pitching plays a significant role in avoiding shoulder and elbow injuries. When the hips are stuck in an anterior pelvic tilt, it can block off internal rotation as needed to generate force on the mound.

By Dynamic Sports Training 06 Oct, 2017
Mindset Principle: Leadership
By Rachel Owens

Leaders can come in all shapes and sizes. Some leaders show themselves in the front of the group as the most vocal, while some lead more quietly by example. Some lead with a title attached to their name, some without.

While playing soccer in college I had to learn how to lead without the title 'captain' attached to my name. For three of the four years playing I had no title. I learned to earn  respect from my teammates and coaches by my  actions.  I was early to every workout. I held my fitness to the highest standard. In every drill, every rep, I strived to be the best. I established myself as a leader in the program, no doubt, which led me to being voted a captain my senior season. After I earned that title through my consistent actions my words then carried more weight. I started as a quiet leader, ending more vocal.

What does Leadership look like in your life, in your circumstances? Are you vocal, do you quietly set the example, do a combination of both?

"The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves."

Nutrition Principle: The 3 Macronutrients
By Chelsea Bellinger

The three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, fat and protein are important nutrients for maximizing training results. Carbohydrates are the main energy source that your body uses day to day. Fats help with brain function, absorption of other nutrients and it acts as a back up energy source when carbohydrates are all used up. Proteins are essential for building and maintaining lean muscle. All three of these macronutrients work together to make sure the body is getting the most out of training sessions. Ratios of these macronutrients in the diet can be manipulated for individual athletes to help them achieve their specific goals. Want to know if your macronutrient ratios are right for your goals? Ask your trainer and they'll help you create the best nutrition plan for you!

Physical Principle: Stress

By Sammy Knox

Stress is the body's way to react to a challenge. When we talk about stress in our workout programs, we're talking about different ways to challenge our athletes' bodies to get stronger, faster, etc.

Depending on an athlete's program, we're going to prescribe different levels of stress (or loads) to help increase strength, explosive power, or stability (control). There are a number of different factors that go into the stress levels our athletes go through in their workouts -- these factors include the athlete's in-sport goals and their bio-mechanical abilities. Before we can gain strength and increase speed, we must first make sure our bodies are able to handle the stresses necessary to reach our goal levels of strength and speed. Once we are in the right position, we'll give our athletes' bodies the necessary levels of stress (in varying degrees and phases) to work towards their end goal.

By Dynamic Sports Training 05 Oct, 2017
Shane Baz is a long-time Dynamic Sports Training athlete. Baz is in the 2017 graduating class from Concordia Christian High School in Cypress, Texas. Baz was drafted in the first round, 12th pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2017 MLB Draft.
By Dynamic Sports Training 05 Oct, 2017
Chelsea Bellinger is the Director of Adult Fitness at DST. She received her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Miami University in Ohio. With a CPT certification through ACSM and background in Nutrition, Chelsea helps individuals improve their overall health through fitness and nutrition.

Chelsea is arguably one of DST's healthiest employees. "She absolutely puts me (and most of the rest of us) to shame in that department," Josh Graber (Director of Business Operations) noted. "Most of us work out pretty regularly and all of us have stayed on our nutrition at times, but Chelsea is a machine -- she definitely practices what she preaches."

Chelsea has also been called the nicest person at DST. She has a very welcoming and positive attitude that's evident in the way she coaches and helps her clients. You can find Chelsea in the office enjoying her kombucha and vegetarian food, and in the weight room inspiring her clients to be the best versions of themselves.  
By Dynamic Sports Training 05 Oct, 2017
Christian DeLeon (RHP) started training with Dynamic Sports Training in the spring of 2016. DeLeon is a former Nebraska Cornhusker and currently plays for the Springvale Lions Baseball Club (Australia). He trains out of our DST North facility at Premier Baseball of Texas in Tomball, Texas. 
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