September/October 2019 - 17

TIP FROM THE TRENCHES
Perspectives on youth strength training
from the American College of Sports
Medicine (ACSM)
* Children and adolescents can participate in strength
training programs, provided they have the emotional
maturity to accept and follow directions.
* Generally speaking, if children are ready for
participation in organized sports or activities, they
are ready for some form of strength training.
* The goal of youth strength training should be to
improve the musculoskeletal strength and general
strength. Physical training as a whole (i.e., the basic
activities associated with sports participation) also can
lead to positive changes in strength gains and muscular
hypertrophy in young athletes.
Important guidelines
Competent, qualified instruction is paramount for all
strength training programs. Coaches or personal trainers
should be certified through an accredited certification
process, reflecting this competence and level of expertise.
When designing a strength training program
fitness of children and adolescents, while exposing
them to a variety of safe, effective and enjoyable
training methods.
* Strength training should be one part of a well-rounded
fitness program that also includes endurance,
flexibility, agility and skill-building exercises.
* Properly designed and competently supervised
youth strength training programs may also enhance
motor fitness skills (e.g., sprinting and jumping) and
sports performance.
* Most importantly, strength training may reduce the
incidence and severity of sports-related injuries.
for younger age groups, it's important to keep it
individualized in terms of age, maturation level, and the
personal goals of the child. As with all training sessions
for any age group, there should be a sufficient warmup
period with appropriate lead-in activities (i.e., dynamic
movements to raise core temperature and shunt blood to
the working musculature).
The initial stages of teaching a child movement patterns
of various lifts should be " no-load " repetitions. Body
weight, empty bars, dowel sticks, elastic bands/tubing,
and very light dumbbells will suffice. This ensures that the
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September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September/October 2019

September/October 2019 - 1
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