Friday, March 23, 2012

Weight training for Javelin Throwers - how young is too young?

It’s difficult to know when is right to start formal weight training. Here’s my general thoughts…

In my opinion, it’s never too early to start light resistance training but must initially only be in the form of body weight exercises.

The next step is to tidy up technique on all of these exercises before introducing any external resistance - which is typically from approximately 16ish +/- yrs. Before this the essentials which need to be acquired are:

1. Correct posture when squatting
2. Correct posture with simple standing and lunge movements
3. Good press up technique - especially thoracic spine positions
4. Good pull up technique and execution
5. Most important - good abdominal strength and competence in pelvic/ lumbar positions in all abdominal and lower back work.
6. Simulated bar technique with a broom handle (pulls, squats, cleans, overhead press, complex lunges and presses)

Once all the above are assured and of high competence, further (light) resistance can be added.

There are some simple first steps which are safe, using dumbells with maximum variety. As I say 16+ yrs before this starts to get heavy is normally recommended.

Slow and steady progression is also key and to ensure that technical competence is ahead of strength levels. It’s also worth looking at some supporting exercises with hurdles and medicine balls.

You can find more of this kind of thing on another website of mine (I’m currently building an app for all this to be more accessible on the move)

The one factor I think is really important is that, it’s really hard to teach javelin technique to strong people. They tend to have ‘prefered’ movements, which they like to use, to utilise an ineffective creation of force.
I say this to ensure you embark on strength training while ensuring there is the correct balance with javelin technical proficiency.

This all done the right way round will ensure long term development - go down the strength route too early and quick, but unsustainable, gains tend to be made. Instead work on speed and range of movement - these are the two things that you have when you are young and can be compromised when you start to do weights.

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Steve's Latest Book, Release Date: 6th March 2012 "The Champion In All of Us"

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