Kick It Up a Notch

Increase intensity in training for return to sport

Double Jab step1
Josh Cline coaches Eyera Nogues, a baseball and basketball player from Ashland, in the double jab step. Photography by Denise Baratta.

When he was 15 years old, Josh Cline’s got his first coaching experience when he volunteered to teach gym class at his high school for kids with special needs. Cline played multiple sports throughout his student years, culminating by being part of the Southern Oregon University football team that went to national championships. Cline is now the owner of Elite Training for Champions in Medford, but he also works with the wrestling team at South Medford High School. He has a passion for young athletes and wants to help then reach their goals. Last month, Cline suggested some basic strength and function moves to get inactive athletes back to building their strength. “We started light to get kids moving and grooving, but now we are going to make it more intense.” Cline suggests middle and high school athletes begin to isolate muscle groups to build endurance. Here are some ideas:

STRENGTH

Two-step lunge

Two Step Lunge2 Two Step Lunge3

Kimberly Ceron, 15, demonstrates a two-step lunge. Ceron plays basketball and track for South Medford High School.

With this exercise you are building endurance and stability in the legs to maintain athletic position for long periods. Start in a forward lunge position, then fire off the front foot into a backward lunge in one smooth movement on the same leg.

Reps and sets: Youth athletes should strive for 4 by 12 48 for each leg

STRENGTH

Explosive pushup

Explosive Pushup1 Explosive Pushup2

South Medford High School football and wrestling athlete Hunter Hernandez, 15, demonstrates an explosive pushup.

In this version of a pushup, you are working on reaction time and impact experience. Drop into a normal pushup position but then push off ground when lifting and catch yourself back in pushup position.

Reps and sets: Youth athletes should strive for 4 x 12

FUNCTIONALITY

V-ups

V Up1 V Up2

South Medford High School soccer player Carmen Hutchins, 17, demonstrates the two-step V-up.

Also called pike crunches, this is another exercise that encourages reaction time by firing all the core muscles at once. Lay on the ground with legs and arms stretched to full length. Then engage core to fold up like a suitcase, so hands and feet meet in the middle. Cline warns to keep your neck stable.

Reps and sets: Youth athletes should strive for four sets of 15 reps.

AGILITY

Double jab step

Double Jab step2 Double Jab step1

Josh Cline coaches Eyera Nogues, a baseball and basketball player from Ashland, in the double jab step.

This exercise helps your body learn to transition from forward to lateral movement quickly. Cline suggests taking a pair of shoes to mark your lines. Put one shoe about one stride in front of you and the other one stride to your side. While running in place, jab one leg forward, return, jab the same leg to the side and return. Repeat set on other side for other leg.

Reps and sets: Youth athletes should strive for four sets of 15 reps with each leg.

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