Page 36 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 36
TEAM PHYSICIAN’S CORNER

STRENGTH TRAINING IN
PRE-ADOLESCENTS

PAUL R. STRICKER, MD, FAAP STRENGTH TRAINING, UTILIZING FREE
Scripps Clinic Sports Medicine WEIGHTS OR MACHINES, is an integral part of every
La Jolla, California
athlete’s exercise regime. For many years, however, this type of training
was considered off-limits for prepubescent youngsters. Pre-adolescent
strength training has been a controversial subject due to fears of injury
and growth disturbances. Many people thought strength training was
pointless because children have no hormonal fuel to promote increases
in muscle size and strength.

Throughout the past two decades, however, there have been many
well-performed studies that dispel such fears. These studies show that
strength can be increased with little risk of injury if there is good
supervision and strict technique.

Support for strength training certainly does not lessen the inherent
risk for injury. The rapidly growing pre-adolescent skeleton has weak-link
physes that are subject to various forces and muscle tendon dynamics,
and the injury potential is high. Many severe injuries have been reported,

STRENGTH TRAINING IN PRE-ADOLESCENTS 36
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