I live near one of the best high school football programs in the country. They always have top rated recruits and usually go very far in the Florida high school football state tournament. With all this success you would think they had at least a mediocre training program. Right?
Wrong. Saturday I got to have a look at their off season program, which is quite possibly the most ignorant grouping of exercises I have ever laid eyes on. While I wouldn’t agree with anything they are doing, I’ll focus in on one aspect because it applied to nearly everyone. That would be the balance of pushing vs. pulling exercises.
We also grouped shrugging and raising exercises in with the pushes because they all promote a poor postural position which dramatically increases the chances of shoulder injury. We then counted the reps and found a ratio of about 9:1 push to pull. Specifically, 789 reps of pushing/shrugging to 90 reps of pulling. This is beyond horrible. I would classify anything worse than 1:1 as poor programming, let alone for a population known for having poor posture and rounded shoulders. (a bad thing)
What needs to be done to correct this is to offset that imbalance. That means more pulling than pushing. A 3:1 or 2:1 pull to push ratio would be perfect depending on how bad the rounding of the shoulders is. Males are more prone to this from what I have seen and should be doing more pulling to pushing anyway, regardless of current postural status. So regardless of what your favorite high school football team might be doing (destroying) in the weight room, remember that a major component of any program is health and injury prevention. Do things that help that cause, not make it worse.