Strength Training Benefits for Kids and Teens

In the past strength training for children and teens held an array of doubt to its effectiveness to provide any benefits. Now researchers are in total support of the National Strength and Conditioning Council (NSCA) which advocates that strength training with the watchfulness of a qualified trainer at two or three times a week is healthy for teens and children.

In the past many concerns had been noted that school-aged children and teenagers could suffer a high risk of injuries through strength training. Strength training which is done by free weights, exercise machines, elastic bands and the bodies own resistance.

Studies recently now have dispelled this theory of thought. It has been demonstrated that risk of injury from strength training is no higher than sports or other type of exercises. Now experts in the field states that it does provide possible benefits like increased bone density, lessens body fat, boosts performance and actually aides in reduction of sports injuries.

This new study which is published in the Journal of Pediatrics, examined age and other factors that could provide benefits in strength training for the young.

At the German Sport University, Dr. Michael Behringer and associates added the findings of 42 past studies which consisted of 1,728 children and teenagers that at random were assigned to perform strength training under supervision or they served as the control group.

In a majority of the studies, children had used free weights or resistance-training machines. Ranging from use of one to five times a week in average 40 minute sessions. The training had lasted from a period of one month to just slightly over a year.

In general the researchers had found the training had been effective in heightening strength, gains were higher among older children in comparison to children of prepubescent age (around 10 or younger). A few sessions per week had shown better results than just one session a week and longer training sessions were greater than shorter ones for benefits.

The average strength gain had varied broadly. Although, a large portion did show improvements in strength by 20 to 40 percent of their start levels.

Exercises involved isotonic contractions meaning those exercises such as bicep curls and squat and bench presses seemed to be the most effective.

Dr. Behringer has stated that since strength training has proved effective for children and teens and is proved to be safe along with yielding health benefits, children and teens should be encouraged to take part in resistance-training programs. There information does show it is effective for all ages.

According to researchers, the data is in line with the 2009 guidelines from NSCA, which advocates strength training at two or three times a week. The report shows that children around ages seven or eight who are old enough to play sports are also usually ready for strength training.

NSCA does highly advise that the performance of strength training should be done with a qualified trainer or part of a school physical education or athletic training program as an example.

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