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Should My Young Athlete Be Strength Training?

Being strong is a good thing and getting stronger is even better! Whether it’s to become a better athlete or a healthier individual, building strength is imperative.

But isn’t strength training bad for young kids?

The biggest concerns parents have (when young athletes participate in strength training) is that it can hurt them or stunt their growth. No parent wants their kid injured, or not growing to their full potential.

I’d like to address these concerns by showing you the National Strength & Conditioning Association’s official statement on youth strength training. The authors of the statement are doctors, researchers, and educators from various highly-respected institutions, such as TCNJ, UConn, Boston Children’s Hospital, & Baystate Medical Center.

“Despite outdated concerns regarding the safety or effectiveness of youth resistance training, scientific evidence and clinical impressions indicate that youth resistance training has the potential to offer observable health and fitness value to children and adolescents, provided that appropriate training guidelines are followed and qualified instruction is available.

In addition to performance-related benefits, the effects of resistance training on selected health-related measures including bone health, body composition, and sports injury reduction should be recognized by teachers, coaches, parents, and health care providers. These health benefits can be safely obtained by most children and adolescents when prescribed age-appropriate resistance training guidelines.”

So you can put your mind at ease – with the right exercise selection and coaching, young athletes can get stronger with no risk or injury.

An appropriate strength training program for young ones would include bodyweight exercises. Overtime, other forms of strength training, involving light medicine balls, resistance bands, dumbbells, and kettlebells, can be introduced.

Following a careful progression such as this, many young kids have gotten stronger and healthier – not only debunking the “stunting growth”-argument, but also showing that strength training improves bone density, joint health, and other markers of health.

With an appropriate strength training program, a young athlete will become stronger, faster, healthier, and more durable.

If you’re looking to get more information on a training program that is both safe & effective for young athletes, click the banner below.

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