The Youth Strength Conditioning Program – Step 2 is a new program at Columbus Family YMCA.

This program is for any youth who has completed the Youth Strength Training Clinic – Step 1. It's designed for anyone who has completed Step 1 and wants to continue learning more about proper lifting and the importance of exercise and healthy habits.

Step 2 is led in a safe environment by Mike Rusk, a personal trainer at the YMCA. Mike is quoted on why he feels this program is important for youth.

“I am a firm believer in getting these younger individuals in to understand the proper form and technique for each workout. With the trend towards early sport specialization becoming more prevalent in the youth athlete, it is important to ensure that individuals are competent in a broad spectrum of movements so that they are well-rounded and able to perform their sport activities in the safest manner possible. Strength and conditioning training can provide a stable foundation for a lifetime of movement.”

I asked Mike what he tries to focus on and what types of exercises he will be doing with the kids each session.

“For the youth strength conditioning program we will focus on proper form and technique, not only for the individual lifting the weights, but for the spotters as well. I always recommend for beginning lifters to always have a spotter working with them for a couple of reasons. One reason is for a safety precaution so that no injuries could potentially occur. The other reason, working with a spotter helps individuals with their form and technique as the spotter could critique them on what they are potentially doing wrong," he said. "For Step 2, we focus most of our class on the free weights and pulley system machines such as the bench press, barbell squat, leg press and much other workouts. This is to help all our youth to get stronger and prevent injuries. I feel individuals who enjoy movement and physical activity early in their lives are those who are the most likely to continue a healthy exercise lifestyle through their lives.”

Youth Strength Conditioning Program – Step 2 is every Tuesday from 4-4:45 p.m. Cost is $5 each time. There is no need to sign up, just show up on time and pay when you arrive.

Rachele Eller is a wellness coordinator and personal trainer/instructor at Columbus Family YMCA.

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