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Study Shows Strength Training Beneficial for Young Athletes
Date:5/5/2009

Importance of a well-designed, adult supervised strength program emphasized.

Rosemont, IL (Vocus) May 5, 2009 -- Participating in even a short-duration strength-training program during childhood and especially during adolescence may not only improve one’s body composition, but also increase self-esteem and improve blood lipid profiles, according to a study published in the May/June issue of Sports Health A Multidisciplinary Approach.

The most recent research in this area has found that child and pre-adolescent athletes can improve their strength by 30-50 percent after just 8-12 weeks in a strength-training program. Other benefits also include improved bone mineral density and body composition, balance, lipid profiles and self-esteem,” reports co-authors Katherine Stabenow Dahab, MD and Teri Metcalf McCambridge, MD, FAAP from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

The study reviewed relevant research, consensus guidelines, and position statements to present a comprehensive review and guidelines for safe and effective youth strength training. The study recommends an individualized program based on age, maturity, and personal goals and objectives of the youth athlete. A comprehensive youth strength-training routine should incorporate:

  • Ten to 20 minutes of warm up and cool down (5-10 minutes for each segment)
  • A variety of resistance types (free weights, weight machines, rubber tubing, and medicine balls)
  • Training the major muscle groups (chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs, abdomen, and lower back)
  • A balanced effort between flexion and extension of the upper and lower body joints
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