Why Strength Training is NECESSARY for Teenage Female Athletes
Emily R Pappas, M.S.
Strength in the teenage years
Long-term success requires a solid foundation. In athletics, that foundation is strength. We have talked before about common myths about lifting weights, so you already know weight training is a critical component of your overall performance. But sometimes, those old fears about “getting bulky” or “too big”creep back into our thoughts, so it’s important to remember a few things.
Stronger female athletes have better stability.
When you improve your strength, you are more stabile. Greater stabilization means you are better able to react to outside forces. The better your reaction, the less prone you are to injury.
Stronger female athletes have higher outputs of speed, power, and agility.
After all, that’s what it’s all about, right? You have to be STRONGER in order to be FASTER, MORE POWERFUL, and MORE REACTIVE. Its science. Strength is the BASE from which speed, power, and agility are developed. Athletes that are stronger are able to produce greater forces. Think of it this way: a 125lb female athlete that can clean 125lb is going to kick a soccer ball much further than a 125lb athlete that can only clean 65lbs.
Limits in maximal strength limit your maximal power.
Strength and power are not interchangeable, but they are related. Strength is the ability to produce high forces and move some weight!! Think about a power lifter who maxes out on a single rep with as much weight as possible. Thats some HIGH FORCE! On the other end of the spectrum, is POWER. Power is the speed at which your body can produce these high forces. Think about an elite sprinter who seems to blast out of the starting blocks. If you do not try to INCREASE the amount of force your body can produce, you limit how fast your body can produce ANY amount of force. If you do not develop your strength, you won’t be able to maximize your power to run faster, kick harder, or jump higher.
By establishing your strength in your teenage years, you not only create a more stable platform from which to grow in the future, but you will see improvements in your performance today, tomorrow, and next week. By developing your strength first, you are ensuring greater success for the player you wish to become in the future.
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