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Improve arm, shoulder, and core strength in preteen athletes

This is an excerpt from Athletic Fitness for Kids eBook by Scott Lancaster & Radu Teodorescu.

Lateral Upper-Body Travel Drill

Age Range

10 to 14

Purpose

To improve arm, shoulder, and core strength

Benefits

This drill improves strength throughout the upper body, which enhances power in baseball (throwing and batting), basketball (rebounding and warding off opponents), football (blocking, tackling, throwing, etc.), hockey (shooting, warding off opponents, checking, stick handling, etc.), lacrosse (shooting, passing, checking, warding off opponents), tennis (hitting, serving), and golf (swinging).

Equipment

A bench that's 8 to 12 feet long and 12 to 18 inches high

Setup

This drill can be done on a grass field or a basketball court.

Execution

These two progressions take the fully locked position of the elbows during the course of a push-up and challenge the athlete to move laterally in both directions across the length of an 8- to 12-foot bench.

Progression 1

Athletes place their hands on top of the bench about shoulder-width apart. They then walk their hands and feet laterally across the length of the bench, keeping their arms locked at the elbows, similar to the top of a fully extended push-up. Once they reach the end of the bench, they return in the same way to the other end and continue back and forth until they can no longer support the weight of their bodies.

Competition

Measure how many times each athlete travels the full length of the bench without unlocking the elbows. They receive 1 point for the first pass from left to right and another for a pass right to left, 2 points for each second pass left to right and right to left, then 3 points for the third pass, and so on. Athletes can self-measure their progress by recording the total number of points they score in each session. (Note that athletes should do this drill no more than twice a week.)

Progression 2

Athletes place their hands on the ground shoulder-width apart and feet on the bench (also about shoulder-width apart). They then begin to walk their hands laterally across the ground while keeping both arms locked at the elbow, similar to the top of a fully extended push-up. They simultaneously move their feet laterally across the length of the bench. Once they reach the end of the bench, they return to the other side and repeat.

Competition

Measure how many times each athlete travels the full length of the bench without unlocking the elbows. They receive 1 point for the first pass from left to right and another for a pass right to left, 2 points for each second pass left to right and right to left, then 3 points for the third pass, and so on. Athletes can self-measure their progress by recording the total number of points they score in each session. (Note that athletes should do this drill no more than twice a week.)

 

This is an excerpt from Athletic Fitness for Kids.