The off-season is an important time for youth baseball players to focus on building strength, improving their skills, and preparing for the next season. In this article, we will explore how to gain strength during the off-season for youth baseball players, with a focus on relative strength increase.
Relative Strength Increase
Relative strength is the amount of strength a player has in relation to their body weight. Increasing relative strength is important for youth baseball players because it allows them to move more efficiently on the field, improve their power, and reduce the risk of injury.
To increase relative strength, youth baseball players should focus on lifting heavy weights with proper form and technique. Compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, and pull-ups are all effective for building strength. It is important to start with a weight that is challenging but manageable, and gradually increase the weight over time.
It is also important to vary the exercises and rep ranges in the training program to prevent plateauing and keep the body challenged. A well-designed training program should include a variety of exercises and rep ranges, including both high and low repetitions.
In addition to strength training, proper nutrition is also essential for gaining strength during the off-season. Youth baseball players should aim to consume a well-balanced diet that is high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. They should also focus on consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables to provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Rest and Recovery
Rest and recovery are also critical components of any off-season training program. Youth baseball players should ensure that they are getting enough sleep, as this is when the body repairs and rebuilds muscle tissue. They should also incorporate active recovery, such as foam rolling or stretching, into their routine to prevent injury and promote overall health.
Gaining strength during the off-season is essential for youth baseball players to prepare for the upcoming season. A well-designed training program should focus on increasing relative strength through heavy lifting, proper nutrition, and rest and recovery. By focusing on these key areas, young players can improve their skills and set themselves up for success on the field
If you or your son/daughter wants to the get the most out of their off-season, call or enquire with us today.
Achillies Tendinopathy Rehabilitation Protocol
Achillies tendinopathy can occur in any athlete’s sport and training that requires a large number of elastic contacts with the ground. Monitoring the load of these contacts can be extremely difficult. An Achilles tendinopathy may occur when the amount of elastic load through training and play has not been met with adequate strength work through the foot and ankle complex, this is when degradation of tissue can occur.
Tendinopathy is the breakdown of collagen protein within a tendon. Tendinopathy is caused by microtrauma to the tendon without adequate rest to heal. If you continue to overload a tendon without the necessary amount of rest, you will continue to break down the collagen protein that makes up the tendon.
Achilles tendinopathy can be present at the insertion, down towards the heel or higher up towards the bottom of the calf. Tendinopathy pain is localised and consistent (Rio, 2014). The pain is associated with excessive loading of the tendon and is important as pain presents to protect the area (Rio, 2014).
Figure 1. demonstrates the relationship between tendon health and the optimisation of load. If the tendon is exposed to excess amounts of load without adequate progression, this is where you can start to see an inflammatory response and the breakdown of tissue.
It is important to remember that rest alone is not how you treat tendinopathy. Contrary to popular belief, you need to load degenerative tendons to cause a positive adaptation and rebuild healthy tendon tissue. A carefully structured and monitored strength program is the most efficient way to manage tendinopathy and get you back to playing sport.
A program can be broken up into 3 specific stages. How long each stage will take depends entirely on how the tendinopathy responds to the program. For some, the response may be positive after the first few sessions, for others this may take a couple of weeks. If you are unsure, we recommend following each stage for 2 weeks, performing each session 2-3 times a week.
Stage 1: Initial Assessment, Introduction to Load & Tissue Remodeling
Goal – Decrease pain, assess load capacity of ankle complex and reintroduce load.
Stage 1 programming will start with the basics. It will include slow tempo exercise and isometrics in order to restore functional capacity and reduce pain.
VALD ForceFrame Seated Calf Test
VALD ForceDecks Bilateral Hop Test
These are baseline measurements we take for the initial assessments at AAC. These 2 tests provide us with an indication of the load tolerance for the calf and Achilles tendon respectively.
If pain is limiting your ability to perform these tests, you should aim to introduce strength exercise and low amplitude plyometrics gradually first. Tolerance and load capacity can be built through submaximal exercise. If you feel as though the initial work is too easy, then you have started at the right place.
24 Hour Rule
If 24 hours after loading the tendon your pain and stiffness levels are worse, the load may have been too great. It is important to record how you are feeling during and after sessions. This feedback gives you important information about the response to load.
Programming Example –
Bilateral Calf Raises (from floor)
Based on how you are able to perform each initial exercise and the recorded response afterwards, you can gain an insight on how the tendon has responded to the introduction of load. This helps you decide how quickly you can progress through each stage of the program.
Progression Example –
Weighted Bilateral Calf Raises
Single Leg Calf Raise Isometric
Eccentric Seated Calf Raises
A rehabilitation program can be easily incorporated at the beginning of sports training or can be included into gym sessions. Where there is adequate time to perform the program without haste and the quality of work is kept high is our recommendation. If gym access is unavailable, inform your coach and get a home program to suit.
2 times a week is the recommended dose of the initial program. As loading progresses and tolerance builds, you can then look at increasing frequency, intensity and/or volume. It is important to record how you have performed the program and how you felt 24 hours afterwards. Questionnaires (such as Pain and RPE) are useful tools for recording how you felt before, during and after each session. This is a great way to track progress throughout your rehab.
Stage 2: Strength Progressions & Introduction to Plyometrics
Goal – Increase intensity and complexity of strength exercises as well as introducing plyometric movements into the program.
Stage 2 will build on the capacity gained in stage 1. Here, you will start to add more load to weighted exercises whilst keeping the tempo slow initially. The introduction of plyometrics can be daunting so it is crucial to take your time and gain confidence during this stage. Initial exercises will consist purely of extensive plyometrics as you are aiming to build capacity without overloading the tendon and causing an inflammatory response.
Stage 3: Plyometric Progressions, Return to Play Drills & Long-Term Management
Goal – Intensify plyometric variations, integrate various athletic drills and sprints.
By stage 3, we want you feeling confident in the strength and ability of the foot-ankle complex. As the capacity of load and the tolerance to plyometrics and elastic ground contacts progress, you can start to incorporate athletic drills, more intensive jumps and sprints into the program.
Programming Example –
Weighted Single Leg Tempo Calf Raises
A Skip Variations
Rehabilitation is training in the presence of an injury. Once you have reached the third stage of the program, training will once again gain a sense of normality. When sport training recommences, the aim will be to maintain the strength qualities gained through rehabilitation and some aspects of the program to be ever-present as you return to sport.
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We cannot recommend AAC enough!The support and guidance my daughter has received is phenomenal.Staff are qualified and passionate about helping each person every session.She has grown in confidence as well as her strength and ability.
AAC is the most welcoming gym you will ever find, the staff are so supportive and helpful. The culture in the gym is unlike anything else, you walk in and everyone greats you. AAC gives you the best workout and experience that you simply can’t go past, AAC IS THE PLACE TO BE !!
This is a top class place and very good guys to help in recovery and sports training..my son as developed remarkable and is in top form due to these guys...What a good session today..thank you guys for pushing jordan and helping him with a good diet and training program..The results are phenomenal..A must for all who need good support with very professional instructors to help with the long term recovery and goals
Going to AAC has genuinely changed my life. There is such a difference between AAC and just a commercial gym. The coaches and team really know their stuff, and work hard to ensure each member of the AAC family is taken care of the way they need it. The team understands your needs when you walk in there, and tailor everything to get the best out of you. Aside from that, the culture with the staff and other users is unlike anything I have seen in another gym. Every single person supports those around them, and being somewhat insecure of my athletic capabilities prior to joining, this really helped me feel comfortable and get the most out of my training, while making some friends. AAC has a loyal customer here for years to come.
I was a student intern at ACC and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. The team were friendly and they know a lot about athletic strength and conditioning, I definitely recommend coming here as an athlete or an intern.
Came to AAC as a University student completing my placement and have built some amazing networks with the coaches there. There isn’t one coach I can pick they all have quality traits and have a strong passion for the strength and conditioning industry. I’m always seeking advice from them. Atmosphere is incredible always positive vibes as soon as you step in to the and the facilities are top notch.
I could not recommend AAC enough, even if you are looking to get back into exercising and building strength after a long break. Miki has helped me so much in the last few months - PT sessions with him are a highlight of my week that leave me feeling physically and mentally refreshed.
It takes me a minimum of 40 minutes to drive from my home to the Gym - but i do it as often as i can - this shows how much i enjoy being there.The environment is always supportive and all the Coaches are there to assist whenever you are needing help; AAC is a community that I am grateful I have found and cannot wait to see what the new year brings for my Athletic Development and Goals
After working with Adam Pople I can honestly say I feel such benefit. As a hairdresser myself there are certain muscles that aren’t used as often therefore the knots are horrendous! Since Adam set me a personal plan these knots have dramatically reduced. 100% recommended!I found all staff extremely friendly and helpful, they treat all members like their family. Thanks Adam, so very grateful for your patience and encouragement
Best place to do any type of recovery work, from personal experience I have never felt better and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their professional help.I look forward to reaching my goals with them by my side💯💪🏻
If I could give AAC 10 stars I would!!After having a few set backs in my training from injuries, (shoulder, knee) I found myself visiting multiple physios to be given a few resistance band exercises. I was feeling pretty broken as id complete these and go back to regular training and find i was getting injured again. I was in constant pain, aches etc.Until i was humbly recommended to an exercise physiologist. Turns out, there is a way i can train and be pain free!? What is this foreign concept?The team at AAC identified the gap and limitations of my specific case through extensive testing and gave my body the chance to heal and get stronger at the same time. They understand, and listen with fascination. They are absolutely invaluable clinicians.I think of AAC as not only my trainers, but life coaches, and friends. It's not always easy, but It's clear that they love what they do, and their passion lies in helping people holistically.
Joining the AAC community has been a life changing decision for my physical and mental health. A personal favourite class of mine is the Barbell Club Mondays run by Jazz (@strikeathleticdevelopment). The coach and group members are so supportive of each other which foster and create a fun learning environment for all types of skill level. If you are looking for a gym for laughs, personal connections, reaching your goals and achieving bigger pipes, then look no further. ABD is something I thought I could not overcome but now it is just a thing of the past, thanks to AAC! 🍑
A great place for athletes of any sport looking to stay fit, robust and injury free for the season. The facilities are well equipped and the team is great to get you back to 100% if an injury occurs. They got me back on the pitch after a string of injuries and helped me see the light at the end of the rehab tunnel. The boys sat down with me and devised a program to suit. Couldn’t recommend this place enough! Plus the vibes are great and the drinks are cold!!
Train here with our soccer squad every couple of weeks for strength, conditioning and recovery. Miki and his team are all excellent at what they do. Facility is second to none and all the equipment is elite. There is a great atmosphere when training there. I highly recommend!
Have been going to the AAC for a couple of months now and love it. Super friendly environment from both the coaches and other gym goers. I love the specific programs/workouts they’ve made for me and I’ve had so much improvement already. Would recommend it to anyone looking to better their game or just themselves.
Review by: Soraya ProudeI attended this facility after being involved in a MVA. The facility it has been amazing, having to resign from work and unable to pay for my sessions upfront they have taken it on themselves to send my invoices to the company. This place is so inviting, everyone is extremely lovely - it’s a very comfortable space. I love working with each of the trainers (Adam and Miki) have been especially great during my recovery. They’re very supportive and I feel I can be myself when I train here, sad or happy. I feel supported and my training and rehab has progressed so much since I have started. I look forward to continuing my rehab and definitely recommended this facility for rehab purposes or training in general
Amazing trainers, super professional and there's always a friendly face around willing to lend a helping hand if you're ever unsure. I've had nothing but good experiences since making the decision to join!