6 Ways to a Better High School Weight Room
Small, grungy spaces with rusty barbells and outdated universal machines no longer cut it for high school weight rooms. State-of-the art weight rooms tend to be mainstream areas that are functional for all sports (and both genders) and include instructive pieces that fit into the physical education curriculum. The best ones give coaches and educators the opportunity to incorporate basic exercise principles (running, jumping, lifting, agility, etc.) into their physical education classes, in addition to facilitating advanced performance techniques for student-athletes.
Not every school can afford a weight-room overhaul, but if you are thinking about making some changes, here are some ideas.
Weight Room Features You Need
1. Two adjoining rooms—one for weight training and functional resistance, the other for movement and sport-specific activities.
2. A weight training area with a standard squat rack and platform.
3. Platforms placed at floor level instead of on the ground—to conserve space. At Resurrection Christian School in Loveland, Co., customized wood platforms are inlaid into the floor with a special integrated track system for variable resistance applications for lifting (Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift and Power Cleans) and plyometric activities (jumping and footwork). The integrated system allows for loaded and unloaded plyometrics, Olympic lifting and traditional weightlifting.
4. A high-speed treadmill. It provides a conditioning component that specifically manipulates the body's anaerobic energy systems with the short-burst, fast-twitch characteristics of most power sports.
5. A leg press specially designed to emphasize single-leg pressing movements and jumping. Explosive leg strength reduces the chances of injury in all sports.
6. A hip machine that targets all planes of hip muscle development. A four-way hip-strengthening machine promotes movements that complement core exercises and Olympic lifts, much like working the triceps complements the Bench Press.