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Strength Training for Kids – Townsville Physio

Posted on: May 14th, 2020 by thephysiomovement | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

 

 

The role of Strength Training in youth performance

Strength training is a fundamental aspect of training for virtually all athletes or individuals looking to boost their performance. Whether you’re a power-based athlete that needs to be really strong to perform at your best or you’re an endurance athlete looking to boost performance and reduce injury risk – strength training is the way to go. But what about strength training for kids and teens?

Is Strength training for Kids Safe and are there Risks?

A few common misconceptions regarding strength training for youths is that strength training for kids and teens can cause injury and stunt growth by places excessive stress on their growth plates during development, but is this actually correct? Research would suggest not. It is known that the forces involved with resistance training well controlled, progressed slowly and programmed for the specific needs to the individual – ensuring risk on injury is minimised and performance enhancement optimised. It is also known that the amount of force going through the body when kids undertake normal physical activity such as running, jumping bounding are up to 8 times more than body weight, while the forces of carefully progressed strength training are much lower than this. There is even evidence to suggest that strength training for kids can actually reduce injury risk and better prepare children for more physically demanding tasks such as running, rugby league and essentially any sport with high physical demands by increasing their strength and conditioning – and thus having a greater capacity to tolerate intense physical activity.

Youth strength training for performance enhancement

There have been several studies investigating the benefits of strength training for youths – with the vast majority demonstrating no adverse effects of strength training, as well as showing improvements in physical performance.

In one study, researchers introduced children between the ages of 10 and 12 to gradually progressed Olympic-style lifting with weighted barbells and dumbells as well as basic plyometric (jumping based) exercises. The results showed a significant increase in multiple fitness tests such as countermovement jump, horizontal jump, balance and 20 metre sprint with no serious injuries reported.

Another study the effect of a two times per week strength and conditioning program in addition to normal soccer practice. The strength program included weighted squats, squat jumps, weighted lunges and sprints. All kids within the study were tested before and after the eight week program with all individuals within the study showing significant improvement in terms of flexibility, vertical jumping height, muscle strength and power and also demonstrated improvements in endurance.

 

Takeaways message: Strength training is safe and effective for kids!

 

How old do kids need to be to start strength training?

Children as young as ten years old can start light strength training with an emphasis of correct technique and slow progression of weight. It is important that correct technique, professional education and a fun environment, are your priorities when looking for a program for your child.

At TPM we run Youth Performance Programs during school terms for kids ages from 12 to 18 being eligible (Exceptions made for certain kids of younger ages). Each Block runs for 10 weeks during the school term with the first and last block of each week being reserved for initial and final performance testing. The sessions are run by trained Physiotherapists, Performance Coaches, and Exercise Physiologists with a background in strength and conditioning to ensure the programming is safe and effective for each individual.

For more information on Strength training for Kids, Contact TPM via email at info@thephysiomovement.com.au or call us on 1300876348 for more information.

 

Contact

     517 Flinders Street
Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
     info@thephysiomovement.com.au
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