Two Important Lifts For Female Teen Athletes
When it comes to cultivating the athletic prowess of young girls, there are two fundamental exercises that we’re particularly keen on nailing down:
- Pull Up
Here’s a few reasons why:
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- Strength Development: Deadlifting is a compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and core. It’s an effective way to build overall strength, which is essential for athletes in almost any sport. This strength can enhance their performance, speed, and power.
- Injury Prevention: A properly executed deadlift helps strengthen the muscles that support the spine and improve posture. This can reduce the risk of back injuries, which are not uncommon in sports, especially those that involve running, jumping, and contact.
- Functional Strength: Deadlifting mimics a fundamental movement pattern – picking something up off the ground. This functional strength is relevant in many sports and everyday life.
- Core Stabilization: Deadlifting requires a strong and stable core, which is essential for sports that involve dynamic movements, such as changing direction or explosively jumping. A strong core also aids in balance and overall stability.
- Mental Toughness: Deadlifting can be mentally challenging, requiring focus, determination, and confidence. Learning to overcome physical and mental barriers during training can be valuable for athletes.
- Balanced Muscle Development: It promotes balanced muscle development, reducing the risk of muscle imbalances, which can lead to injuries. Many sports emphasize certain muscle groups, and deadlifting can help counteract this.
- Improved Speed and Explosiveness: Stronger glutes and hamstrings, which are heavily engaged during deadlifts, can improve an athlete’s ability to generate power, which is crucial in sports like sprinting, jumping, and many team sports.
- Bone Health: Weight-bearing exercises like deadlifts can help increase bone density. This is especially important for adolescent female athletes, as they are at a stage in life where building strong bones can have long-term benefits.
- Confidence and Empowerment: Learning and mastering a compound lift like the deadlift can boost an athlete’s self-esteem and sense of empowerment. It can show them that they are capable of achieving challenging physical goals.
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- Upper Body Strength: Pull-ups primarily target the muscles in the upper body, including the back, shoulders, and arms. Developing strength in these areas is valuable for various sports that require upper body power, such as swimming, gymnastics, rock climbing, and many team sports.
- Functional Strength: Pull-ups mimic real-life movements, like climbing, pulling oneself up, or navigating obstacles. This functional strength is relevant for many sports and outdoor activities.
- Core Engagement: To perform a pull-up, you need to engage your core muscles for stability. A strong core is essential for balance, posture, and overall athleticism.
- Improved Body Composition: Developing upper body strength through pull-ups can help girls build lean muscle mass, which can have a positive impact on their body composition and overall health.
- Injury Prevention: Pull-ups can help prevent imbalances in strength between the front and back of the body, which can reduce the risk of injury, especially in sports that involve repetitive motion or high-intensity upper body activity.
- Increased Metabolism: Strength training exercises like pull-ups can boost the metabolism, aiding in weight management and overall health. This is particularly important for adolescents who are still developing physically.
- Boosted Confidence: Mastering the pull-up can be a confidence booster for adolescent girls. It’s an achievement that demonstrates physical prowess and determination.
- Psychological Benefits: Learning to do pull-ups can instill qualities like discipline, goal setting, and perseverance. These mental skills can benefit athletes in all areas of their lives.
- Sport-Specific Benefits: For sports that involve hanging or gripping, such as rock climbing or gymnastics, pull-ups can provide a significant advantage by improving grip strength and endurance.
- Long-Term Health: Establishing a foundation of upper body strength during adolescence can have long-term health benefits, including reduced risk of age-related muscle and bone loss