As the world of sports continues to focus on power and strength, higher expectations are being placed on young athletes. As a parent you may be questioning if your teen is too young to be worried about strength training. If done correctly, strength training can enhance physical and psychosocial development, improving muscular coordination and preventing obesity, diabetes and other chronic illness.
There is no set age when a child is ready to begin strength training. The main focus, however, should be on technique rather than the amount of weight lifted. A child should be able to complete eight to15 repetitions using good form before increasing weight. Your child should also have a medical examination by a primary care doctor before a strength training program is started.
According to the staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine:
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine is a one-stop resource for all of a young athlete’s health care needs. The program coordinates the services of various medical specialties—radiology, cardiology, pulmonary, rheumatology, neuropsychology, nutrition, physical therapy and education—to help prevent and treat youth and adolescent sports injuries.
Consult your primary care physician for more serious injuries that do not respond to basic first aid. As an added resource, the staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine is available to diagnose and treat sports-related injuries for youth or adolescent athletes. Services are now available in five locations. To make an appointment, call (614) 355-6000 or request an appointment online.