Youth Trunk strengthening using resistance bands

 Resistance Bands For Youth Core Strength

 I have the pleasure of working with a lot of young middle school and high school athletes every day.  Without a doubt the trunk is the #1 area of weakness in at least 80% of our middle school athletes.


First of all schools are still testing using sit-ups and leg raises which we know does nothing to improve trunk stabilization and in most cased causes over activation of the rectus abdominus or hip flexors.

Secondly our young kids think the only way to strength train the trunk is using sit-ups, leg raises and crunches.  I see it all the time in the high school and middle school weight room.

Thirdly, as kids develop they do not learn to activate the trunk with regular play.  You can’t get the trunk going using PS3.

Fourthly, I think as fitness professionals we are to anxious to get to advanced exercises with some of these young athletes and subsequently bypass the basic ground based isometric training.

Next, if kids cannot feel it they don’t think its working.  Subsequently we need to get them feeling it with good proprioceptive feedback.

Finally, we have not educated our youth coaches about where all movement including sprinting comes from.  As a result they do not focus on core stabilization but rather just get kids doing plyos and aggressive running drills which their body is not ready for

I have found with adults that resistance bands trunk stabilization training works well at not only strengthening the trunk region but it also teaches them where to engage.

Young athletes are no different.  Using a small micro orange band you can provide the proprioceptive feedback they need to crank up the lower abs.  Plus it becomes a challenge for many of them to see how strong they can get.

I recently started working with my oldest daughter Kelsey who for 4 years has had to wear a plastic shell to address juvenile scoliosis problem that had become progressive.   Kelsey had to wear  a brace for 20 hours a day, 7 days a week since she was in 7th grade.  Not many kids could do that but she is one of the bravest and most determined young athletes I have ever met.

Unfortunately during this time, her trunk became very weak and even though she has a very strong lower torso, she is not able to maximize it because of the lack of trunk integrated isometric strength.  So we are playing core catch up these days.

I thought you may be interested in seeing what one determined young lady who is one of my biggest inspirations, is doing 4 to 5 days per week in conjunction with continuing her physical therapy routine and soccer training.

Core activation training for young athletes using resistance bands

Getting BETTER with BANDS


Dave Schmitz



Best Core training workout every is using Workout Muse 10-3 Tracks.  It is amazing and it keeps young athletes focused on the task at hand.

10 – 3 Core Sound Tracks  


3 Responses to «Youth Trunk strengthening using resistance bands»

  1. August 11, 2010 at 6:07 am, emily Wannenburg said:

    Thanks for the latest in your videos. I find that trunk stability is key to athletic success and ADL’s. I will definitely use the tips shown here with my scoliosis client– starting with the un-resisted exercises first.

    Any chance that you will be in NC to do a workshop?

  2. August 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm, Sue DiMeo said:

    Thanks for the core stab. videos Very helpful I like the progression on the side plank.I had a client doing a side plank who has had back problems and she was at this point unable to lift her hand off yet. So this will certainly help. Thanks for bridging the gap.

  3. December 14, 2010 at 11:07 am, Derek said:

    Very helpful!! I will be implementing these activities in my youth programs

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