As young kids’ participation in sports increases, strength training in youth athletes also continues to be seen more frequently. Strength is an important part of daily life as well as for participation in sports. Strength training at a young age can be beneficial for coordination, flexibility, and bone density as well as general health. We know that preventative exercise (prehabilitation) focuses on strengthening muscle groups that are overused in specific sports (i.e. rotator cuff for overhead throwing athletes) and it may reduce overuse injuries in these athletes. Increasing incidence of strength training may lead to questions about safety and how much training children should be doing for their age and level.
A well supervised strength training program has no greater inherent risk than participation in any other youth sport or activity.2 Injury in case reports are attributed to equipment misuse, lifting improper weight, using improper technique, or training without qualified adult supervision.1 Prior to starting a strength training program, make sure the program is designed for the individual and that they will be properly supervised; you can also check with your pediatrician prior to beginning a program.
A strength training program comes with a variety of health benefits, but with any new fitness program, be sure to consult with your youth athlete’s doctor prior to starting. You can also reach out to your nearest Athletico to discuss strengthening with a physical therapist. Get started by scheduling a Free Assessment today. Free Assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Dahab KS, McCambridge TM. Strength training in children and adolescents: raising the bar for young athletes?. Sports Health. 2009;1(3):223-226. doi:10.1177/1941738109334215
2. Faigenbaum AD, Kraemer WJ, Cahill, et al. Youth resistance training: Position statement paper and literature review. J Strength Cond Res. 1996;18:62