Key Fitness Goals for Teenage Athletes
Young athletes ages 13 and up are highly motivated to improve their speed, strength, and agility but sometimes need a reminder to protect their bodies from injury.
There are some really simple guidelines for teen athletes to follow that can help keep them moving in the right direction with their training. Here are a few key fitness goals that our team has put together to keep teens healthy and strong before, during and after their workouts:
Give it a rest!
Yound athletes tend to go at their workouts pretty intensely and pretty regularly. The science on young athlete training shows that spacing out workouts and limiting them to include a single body part will actually increase the potential; of gains in both strength and speed. It’s also been shown that sticking to a two day rest period after working that muscle group can benefit both growth and recovery.
Taking days off in between workouts plays a critical role in becoming a healthy and happy teen athlete. Your personal trainers at Worcester Fitness will create for you a program that includes both challenging activities and smart rest strategies.
Mix it up!
It’s easy for young athletes to find a set of exercises that they feel comfortable with and then repeat them during each workout. The problem is, that is not how the human body is designed to build strength or endurance.
Young athletes benefit immensely from mixing in at least one day per week of cross training. Simply adding something to their routine that isn’t traditionally viewed as “sports specific” will create a challenge to the muscle group that you’re training and stimulate growth and gains.
Learning the benefits of pre and post workout stretching may be the single most important step in building a lifelong love of fitness. Stretching is often overlooked especially by young athletes who are typically more interested in getting right to the workout!
Taking ten minutes before any workout to stretch out each muscle group will help protect and build those very same muscles! After you’ve finished your workout, always make time for a proper cooldown. Repeat your stretches after your workout. Soon you’ll see increased strength and flexibility.
Fuel Your Body!
Nutrition is the key to building and protecting a healthy body. Young athletes who want to become elite young athletes need to focus on what they eat as much as how they workout. A well balanced diet that includes both carbs and protein will help them build healthy body. Teen bodies are still growing and need more smart calories than most people. It is a great time to speak with your doctor or meet with a nutritionist about creating the right nutrition plan for your sport and body’s needs.