TRX training for athletes in the early stages of life is not just safe, it's highly encouraged. Brian Grasso, founder of the International Youth Conditioning Association, tells us why the TRX is uniquely beneficial to this sensitive demographic, in the first blog of this series on youth training and the TRX.
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“Cook ‘em slow.”
When training young athletes, the goal is not to lose weight, increase speed or gain strength. The goal is to enhance skill. If you adopt a long term, skill-based approach to youth fitness and sport training, increases in all biomotor skills (strength, speed, flexibility and cardiorespiratory) will naturally occur.
This approach to training young athletes is what makes the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ so incredibly unique and powerful. Everything the TRX has to offer is based on “fitness skill.” Moreover, every TRX exercise has limitless potential in terms of progressions. For example, a simple horizontal pull-up can be progressed by elevating your feet, elevating your feet on an unstable surface or removing one leg. The TRX is absolutely ideal for young athletes when holding this “progressions” reality in context.
Legendary strength coach Joe Kenn offered this advice when working with young athletes: “Cook ‘em slow.” Think of training young athletes as placing them in a crock pot with a bunch of other savory ingredients and then setting the temperature on low. Let the ingredients come together in their time. The end result will be an athlete with many layers (i.e. flavors) that can’t be obtained through any “quick cook” methods.
For coaches and fitness professionals working with the TRX, the “flavor” component of training variety is naturally built in. There is no apparatus more conducive to providing variety than the TRX. When training systemic strength with young athletes, think about how basic circuits can be created that encompass joint actions and how those exercises can be performed on your TRX.
Stay tuned for more tips on training youth on the TRX in Part 2 of this series, where you’ll learn the important tenants governing training for young athletes. Until then, have you used the TRX when training young athletes? Leave a comment below!
Brian Grasso has trained more than 15,000 young athletes worldwide over the past decade. He is the Founder and CEO of the International Youth Conditioning Association (www.IYCA.org), the #1 certification for Youth Fitness and Youth Sports Performance.
Disclaimer: Assess each young athlete’s health and ability level, and the suitability of any exercise routine, prior to starting this or any fitness program.