General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea? Rss Feed  
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2013-11-18 6:32 AM


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Subject: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?
I am looking for advice, my daughter ask if i thought going to a gym would help her. She is on the swim team and the track team and wants to get better. Is strength training for a 15/16 yr old a good idea? What about the boot camp programs or the cross fit programs? We are just looking for pro's and con's to additional strength training options. Thanks for the help.


2013-11-18 6:42 AM
in reply to: iwant2join

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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?
With a good strength training coach, I don't see that there would be any likely down sides. Technique will be crucial to keep her injury free. If she is already swimming 5 days a week with a team, you probably can't just add strength training into her schedule without working closely with her coach.
2013-11-18 7:28 AM
in reply to: jmcconne

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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?

Whatever you do, please don't put a 16 year old girl in some bootcamp or crossfit gimmick program. If she strength trains at all at this point, she should probably only do it to address/correct deficiencies that she has (or to strengthen core).

2013-11-18 7:30 AM
in reply to: jmcconne

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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?
She really should consult her coaches as to what exercises would be most beneficial. I would avoid starting a new program like boot camp or crossfit, especially during the competitive season. Just my 2 cents, but those workouts can have a lot of high-impact moves and some girls that age are very prone to stress fractures and joint or tendon injuries from such moves since their bodies are still maturing after finishing rapid growth during puberty. They are really intended for adults. I swam and ran competitively in high school and we did some strength training for both sports, maybe 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week. Swimming stressed more upper body and core work (free weights, situps, planks), while running included some basic lower body work, mainly with the goal of injury prevention. I know I was incredibly strong for my size at that age, able to bench-press my body weight, which I can't do now (though I weigh within five pounds of what I did then). Not sure how useful/necessary it was for performance, though.

I know the jury's out on its effectiveness for tri training, but in the hands of a skilled coach strength training can be a useful tool for injury prevention, if nothing else. However, I would not have her doing random exercises in the gym or high-intensity programs designed for adults.
2013-11-18 7:53 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?
Some Light strength training and Core development certainly won't hurt any, She doesn't have to be lifting big weight, light weights with 3 set reps will do just fine.

I am finding even one day a week doing this is really helping me with swimming and with my knee injury strengthening shoulder deltoids hambstrings
quads. core ect help to stabilize my knee problem and helps with some rotator cup problems I was having, for me at 60 I am definitely not lifting tonnage but the light weight high rep workout seem to be really helping with just general fitness and body tone overall..
2013-11-18 9:14 AM
in reply to: iwant2join

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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?

Ask her swimming and track coach for workout idea.

My swim coach in HS had a strength training plan that he'd provide to us if (a) we wanted it, or (b) we had something going on where we couldn't get in the pool. It was easy to follow, had simple exercises, and was tailored to 14-18 year olds. 



2013-11-18 9:24 AM
in reply to: jmcconne

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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?

I'd say yes. Women only put on bone density up to a certain age. I have daughters 15-19 and two are quite thin which puts them at risk. Their physician talks with them about strength training, vitamin D and calcium.

Issue as I see it, not very many good trustworthy sources to turn to as to what and how. I'd look for an experienced strength and conditioning coach. Not all varsity coaches at HS are knowledgable about this either from my experience. One of my kids HS coaches had them stretching with cold muscles for examples. I see some coaches do what they did in the sport back 20 years ago.

Do some good research and find the right person to guide her.

2013-11-18 10:25 AM
in reply to: KathyG

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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?

I think your daughter is at the right age, but "strength training" should be alot more than just going to the gym.  Where do you live?  I can send you some links to places that have programs that are probably what you are looking for, and maybe you can find something similar in your area. 

As KathyG stated.....I know there are some good HS coaches out there.....but not many proportionally to the total number of HS coaches.  I wouldn't trust your kid to them if she can compete at a high level.  Finding good coaches is really important in their development.

2013-11-18 11:03 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?

Originally posted by Left Brain

As KathyG stated.....I know there are some good HS coaches out there.....but not many proportionally to the total number of HS coaches.  I wouldn't trust your kid to them if she can compete at a high level.  Finding good coaches is really important in their development.

Kathy and LB make good points.

Contact someone with knowledge, experience and competence. I just lucked out that my HS swim coach was fantastic - and kind of forgot that some might not really know their way around an ST program (or sometimes even the sport they are coaching!)

2013-11-18 11:23 AM
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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?
I'd almost certainly recommend some strength work, but even as a Crossfitter myself (not sure what the "gimmick" is, btw...but I'll try to stay on topic), I don't think standard Crossfit is the answer - at least during the "on" season. There would be great benefits, though a more specialized coach would likely be more beneficial if swim and short runs are her primary goal. (Crossfit is all about being pretty good at everything. but not awesome at any one thing). In my area, however, I just stumbled upon a Crossfit gym that is exclusively for High School athletes...maybe there is something like that in yours?
2013-11-20 8:11 AM
in reply to: Left Brain


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Subject: RE: Is strength training for hs daughter who is a swimmer and runner a good idea?
Thanks for all the advice. She and I read all the posts and excited to find the right gym with the right trainer. We live in eastern CT and if anyone has a gym they can recommend we would love to hear about. We have not spoken to any of the coaches, yet. We hope to in the next few weeks. We hope to start slow during the short coarse season and start it a few days a week this summer.


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