Stephen R. Gonzalez
American Military University
Should methodology and programming differ between athletes based on gender? This question is on the rise as the number of females who compete in sports and athletics continues to grow. A review of recent trends and research depicts the answer as, yes – most definitely. It is becoming apparent that females are significantly more at risk of injury and injuries that lead to athletic attrition. In order to produce an athlete that can reach maximum potential and avoid succumbing to the prevalence of sport incapacitating injury the female must undergo specific and individual based progressive programming.
Training the Female Athlete
Both the male athlete and female athlete have the ability to achieve great accomplishments in the area of human performance and athletic competition; however, the road to get there should vary to allow for maximum potential to be reached by each. Females are anatomically designed differently from males and as such require a unique and individualized methodology to promote athletic prowess. There are three main areas in which the female athlete encounters performance limitations in comparison to male athletes. Identifying these areas of vulnerability and addressing needs to enhance each can greatly improve the performance and longevity of a female athlete. The first limitation revolves around upper body strength, which is typically weaker in females, as is core strength and stability. Neuromuscular efficiency and agility are often untrained in female athletes as well. The fear of becoming bulky or gaining too much muscle mass is associated with lifting weights, which results in strength training efforts becoming inadequate because they are not given the attention required for a well balanced upper body push and pull. Female athletes need to mitigate the superficial fear of bulking up and consider the fact that a lack of upper body...