Structural Balance and Auxiliary Exercises
Tips on how to individualize the BFS program
By Kim Goss, MS
Originally Published: July/August 2010
For reasons that include trying to win college scholarships, many parents have been encouraging their sons and daughters to specialize in one sport. The theory is that year-round specialization will lead to higher performance, but instead, the result is often a dramatic increase in injuries that can lead to an early exit from athletic competition. This article will discuss one way to address this problem.
The idea of playing multiple sports, or cross training, is not solely an American idea, but in fact may have been European in origin. According to Dr. Mel Siff, co-author of Supertraining, “For many years the Russians and Eastern Europeans have supplemented the training of their competitive athletes with systematic supplementary training in other sports. For instance, Olympic weightlifters and field athletes have included volleyball or basketball in their overall training regimens.” So, even the highest-level athletes use such cross-training methods.
Obviously, the challenge to make a sports team in high school can be tough, especially at larger schools that cannot afford to have junior varsity programs due to budget cuts. And even then, schools that do have programs may discourage multi-sport participation with “pay to play” policies that, unfortunately, appear to be here to stay. But if playing multiple sports during the school year is not possible, at the very least athletes need to lift year round to avoid injury.
I say this because even if an athlete plays multiple sports, seldom does any secondary sport correct muscle imbalances caused by their primary sport. Swimming doesn’t correct any muscle imbalances caused by wrestling – in fact, it can make the round shoulders that wrestlers often display even worse. Cycling won’t resolve the imbalances in leg development caused by volleyball, and playing golf will not do much to help strengthen the lower back muscles that can be weak in a baseball player. …
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