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Old 03-18-2010, 06:14 AM   #1
Sara Fleming
New Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 32
Default Programming ideas for teen with broken thumb

One of my lifters is a 14 year old girl and loves weightlifting more than anything. She's a novice and working on getting to her first competition in May (Blue Ridge Open in VA). Anyway, at practice on Monday, she dropped a snatch and it bounced into her thumb. Being the tough little thing she is, she continued practice and just commented that it hurt a little and she couldn't bend the first joint. We've since found out that she fractured the growth plate under the top knuckle.

So, she's got an almost bodyweight clean and jerk and a 2/3's bodyweight snatch and I'm perfectly content with her going to competition with those lifts as we simply want to give her the experience. But, I want to continue training her twice a week to maintain her strength and power for the next 4-5 weeks while her thumb heals. We should be able to go back to the competition lifts by then.

We need to avoid lifts that require a heavy grip so I was thinking of taking the opportunity to work on any strength imbalances and use some sandbags, hill sprints, etc., to continue to strengthen her without forcing her to use her thumb.

Any thoughts?

Thank you for any ideas.

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Old 03-18-2010, 09:27 AM   #2
Michael McKenna
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Central, PA
Posts: 100

I broke my finger when I was in college, and had to find a way to do things for six weeks without grabbing the bar. So here you go:

Front Squats still work. She can hold the bar with a cross grip, or with her hands straight out. I'd avoid back squats since bailing on them could be dangerous, even with a wide grip. If you have a Safety Squat bar, she can do them, too, as well as doing some hip belt squats (or the Ironmind Squat belt).

Leg presses if you can, weighted vest jumping/ other weighted vest movements, sprints are good, some machines are okay to use at times like this.

As for upper body, machines are all I can really think of, depending on the severity of the break and her limitations.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
Dave Van Skike
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PNW
Posts: 1,738

switching up can be a net positive. the last two years have been the most productive for me and in that time i've broken bones in both hands, and a toe. i think the workarounds spurred more progress than anything I was doing.

pulls with straps or hooks, sled dragging, hi reps swings using a towel to grip, squats of all kinds excpet fronts, big ones for me were:
safety bar squats, cambered bar zercher squats and zercher lifts, hip belt squats,

heavy carries on a shoulder, glute ham raise;
and lots and lots of band work for shoulders, pressing was by far the hardest to work around.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:31 AM   #4
Sara Fleming
New Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 32

Thanks guys, I appreciate it. That gives me some good ideas, especially the weighted vest work and sled drags.

It seems to be just the top joint and she pressed with "no pain" (I put that in quotes because she loves lifting so much, she doesn't care about pain) on Monday, but its a growth plate break so I don't want to mess with that.

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