Many offseason athletes use winter as a time to prepare for their next athletic season by utilizing RHS’s fitness center, as the weight lifting and other forms of training offered provide a variety of benefits.
Weightlifting improves flexibility and overall strength. Since muscles work in pairs, creating a full body workout routine increases flexibility and power in the long run. Having a diverse routine also builds speed, agility, and overall athleticism.
It also reduces the possibility of injury; training strengthens muscles and reduce the impact that is put on them during the season. Additionally, having increased muscle strength helps if an injury does occur, for it aids in speeding up the recovery process.
Kaylin Marshall, a sophomore softball player, had knee surgery in fall of 2017 due to an ACL sprain and inflamed plica. ACL injuries have been on the rise for high school athletes since the early 2000s.
“The injury probably could have been less severe if I worked on ACL specific exercise,” Marshall explains. “I’m also not very flexible.”
Many student-athletes find it hard to stick to a workout routine or to find one that works for them. For most, weight training does not provide immediate results, and athletes typically experience soreness after their first session. Soreness all over the body is normal after exertion, but soreness in particular joints may mean a problem in form or diet.
“It took me about two weeks for my muscles to get used to the weights,” crew team member Sara Wong says. “After that, I noticed a growth in my strength.”
Members of the crew team, as well as the football team, are commonly seen in the RHS weight room. However, it is open to all students, and most sports teams find the time to utilize the weights during their respective seasons.
While weight lifting has numerous physical advantages, there are also many psychological advantages. A major key to success in many sports is having a strong mindset. If an athlete knows that they have a physical advantage due to their strength, it will boost their confidence.
“I saw that weight training made me stronger,” Wong tells. “As a result, I knew that I had the ability to perform better at a higher level.”
Working hard to train one’s body in the offseason also demonstrates a strong work ethic and commitment to the sport. Athletes looking to improve their game towards an elite level often turn to strength and agility training to do so. Additionally, athletes that have been weightlifting for a long time can attest to the fact that their hard work pays off long-term.
Graphic: Amelia Chen