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Youth Athlete working on their core strength

Why Core Strength Must Be Developed In Youth Athletes

May 14, 20243 min read

A strong core is absolutely crucial for your young athletes' physical performance. It plays a vital role in generating power, creating rotational force, and maintaining stability during dynamic movements.

When your child has a weak core and struggles to control their rib cage, it can seriously impact their running efficiency and their ability to produce force in reaching or rotational actions. A strong core enables young athletes to engage the muscles that stabilise the spine and pelvis, effectively eliminating weak points and reducing the risk of injuries.

Investing in Future Well-Being

Strengthening your young athlete's core not only enhances their current performance but also sets the stage for a healthier, more active future. The foundation of a robust core built during their youth will extend its benefits well beyond their sporting career.

By focusing on core strength now, you're helping your child develop the stability and resilience necessary to prevent injuries as they grow older. A strong core contributes to maintaining proper posture, reducing the risk of chronic back pain, and safeguarding against common age-related issues.

As your young athlete transitions from the field to everyday life, the investment in core strength ensures they can contribute to enjoy an active lifestyle and remain engaged in various physical activities for years to come.

Tailored Importance for Youth Athletes

While core strength is important for all athletes, it holds particular significance for those engaged in hitting sports like tennis, cricket, baseball, hockey and swimming. You child's proficiency in core control can make a significant difference in their performance and overall safety.

Dynamic Core Control: A Fundamental Skill

To ensure your young athlete is well-prepared for their sports, they need to excel in dynamic core control as well as in stabilising and holding positions while resisting movement. Consider the actions they perform - swinging a bat, spiking a volleyball, kicking a ball or executing a swimming stroke - all involve shifting body weight smoothly from side to side.

If your child's core is unable to maintain control with the ribs properly positioned, their movements become inefficient and put them at a higher risk of injury. Engaging in exercises such as rotational throws using medicine balls and cables can help your athletes develop the ability to penetrate force effectively from the ground up to their upper extremities.

Resisting Movement for Injury Prevention

Incorporating movements that challenge your young athlete to resist movement is a valuable strategy for introducing core exercises and preventing injuries. Strengthening the core from the spine's top to the glutes can greatly improve the management of lower back pain and fatigue-related injuries.

Many lower limb injuries, such as knee and ankle issues, stem from an inability to stabilise the hips using the glutes. This lack of stabilisation causes uncontrolled movements in the torso and upper body leading to pain in the lower body. Exercises like pall-off presses and suitcase carries are excellent examples of movements that require young athletes to resist rotation and bending at the trunk, engaging the entire core structure in the process.

Effective Core Exercises for Young Athletes

At Inner Athlete, we focus on incorporating a range of effective core movements suitable for youth athletes:

  • Dead bugs

  • Bird dogs

  • Pall-off presses

  • Cable woodchops

  • Medicine ball throws and rotational throws

  • Half kneeling pressing and rowing

  • Farmers and suitcase carries

  • Planks and side planks

  • Shoulder taps

  • Dumbbell slides

By integrating these exercises into your child's training routine, you can significantly enhance their core strength and stability, ultimately leading to improved athletic performance and reduced risk of injuries.</p><p>Learn more on strength and conditioning for youth athletes and increasing your sports performance on our website and the Inner Athlete Podcast (available on Spotify and YouTube).

Matt Hucul
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Inner Athlete Performance

#youngathletes #teenathletes #youthathletes #corestrength #improvingcorestrength

core strengthcore strength in youth athletes
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