Sports Medicine Newsletter

Strength Training in Young Athletes
Winter 2016

By: Daniel Johnson, PT, Director of Rehabilitation Services

We are often asked if younger athletes should be encouraged to participate in strength training programs.  Strength training programs are recommended for improvement in sports performance, injury rehabilitation and prevention, as well as having general health benefits.  Strength training should be instituted in childhood as a preventative measure as well as enhancing physical fitness and helping our younger athletes prepare for the physical demands of sports participation.

Such programs may be safely instituted if a child is ready for sports participation in some type of sports activity.  This may be as young as seven or eight years old.  The child should be fit enough to handle a strength training program, and care should be taken to assure that there are no pre-existing conditions that could increase the likelihood of injury.  It’s important to remember that young children should not start a strength training program on their own but rather seek guidance from a qualified professional.  Keys to preventing problems related to strength training include close supervision, age-related instructions, and a safe environment.  Other keys include:

Regular participation in a strength training program has the potential to benefit our young athletes in many ways as noted above, but these programs must be appropriately designed, supervised, and taught to prevent injury from occurring.

References:American Academy of Pediatrics, National Strength & Conditioning Association, American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine

The information provided in SPORTSCARE is intended as an aid to people dealing with athletic injuries in our community, and is not to be used as a substitution for medical advice for specific individuals or situations.

SPORTSCARE is a newsletter published by the WCA Hospital Sports Medicine Center and is distributed free of charge to coaches within our community.

WCA Healthcare Sports Medicine Center offers diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of all athletic or sports-related injuries

Appointments may be made by calling
(716) 664-8604.

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