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Resistance training among young athletes: Safety, efficacy and injury prevention effects


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A literature review was employed to evaluate the current epidemiology of injury related to the safety and efficacy of youth resistance training. Several case study reports and retrospective questionnaires regarding resistance exercise and the competitive sports of weightlifting and powerlifting reveal that injuries have occurred in young lifters, although a majority can be classified as accidental. Lack of qualified instruction that underlies poor exercise technique and inappropriate training loads could explain, at least partly, some of the reported injuries. Current research indicates that resistance training can be a safe, effective and worthwhile activity for children and adolescents provided that qualified professionals supervise all training sessions and provide age-appropriate instruction on proper lifting procedures and safe training guidelines. Regular participation in a multifaceted resistance training programme that begins during the preseason and includes instruction on movement biomechanics may reduce the risk of sports-related injuries in young athletes. Strategies for enhancing the safety of youth resistance training are discussed.
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doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2009.068098
2010 44: 56-63 originally published online November 27,Br J Sports Med
A D Faigenbaum and G D Myer
safety, efficacy and injury prevention effects
Resistance training among young athletes:
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Resistance training among young athletes: safety,
efficacy and injury prevention effects
A D Faigenbaum,
G D Myer
Department of Health and
Exercise Science, The College of
New Jersey, Ewing, New
Jersey, USA;
Children’s Hospital Medical
Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA;
Sports Medicine Biodynamics
Center and Human Performance
Laboratory, Cincinnati, Ohio,
Rocky Mountain
University of Health Professions,
Provo, Utah, USA
Correspondence to:
Dr A D Faigenbaum, Department
of Health and Exercise Science,
The College of New Jersey,
2000 Pennington Road, Ewing,
NJ 08628, USA; faigenba@tcnj.
Accepted 10 October 2009
Published Online First
27 November 2009
A literature review was employed to evaluate the current
epidemiology of injury related to the safety and efficacy of
youth resistance training. Several case study reports and
retrospective questionnaires regarding resistance exercise
and the competitive sports of weightlifting and power-
lifting reveal that injuries have occurred in young lifters,
although a majority can be classified as accidental. Lack
of qualified instruction that underlies poor exercise
technique and inappropriate training loads could explain,
at least partly, some of the reported injuries. Current
research indicates that resistance training can be a safe,
effective and worthwhile activity for children and
adolescents provided that qualified professionals super-
vise all training sessions and provide age-appropriate
instruction on proper lifting procedures and safe training
guidelines. Regular participation in a multifaceted
resistance training programme that begins during the
preseason and includes instruction on movement biome-
chanics may reduce the risk of sports-related injuries in
young athletes. Strategies for enhancing the safety of
youth resistance training are discussed.
There is a growing number of young athletes
participating in resistance training programmes in
school-based programmes, fitness facilities and
sport training centres to enhance their athletic
performance and reduce their risk of injury during
practice and sport competition (fig 1).
some clinicians once considered resistance training
unsafe and potentially injurious to the developing
musculoskeletal system,
evidence related to the
safety and efficacy of resistance exercise for
children and adolescents has increased over the
past decade.
The qualified acceptance of super-
vised and well-designed youth resistance training
by medical, fitness and sport organisations is now
becoming universal.
Current public health initiatives now aim to
increase the number of youth who participate
regularly in ‘‘muscle strengthening’’ activities,
and contemporary physical education programmes
include resistance training as part of a health-
enhancing approach to fitness education.
15 16
addition, some fitness facilities and sport centres
serve the youth fitness market by providing
programmes for children and adolescents that
enhance musculoskeletal strength, improve motor
skill performance and reduce the risk of sports-
related injuries.
On the other hand, there is substantial interest
and concern from the general public, medical
societies and the scientific community regarding
the safety and appropriateness of resistance train-
ing for young athletes. Boys and girls as young as
6–8 years of age participate in resistance training
activities and the weekly training volume (com-
bined sports practice, sports competition and
resistance training) of some teenage athletes rivals
that of adults.
17 18
Moreover, advanced training
programmes that include weightlifting movements
and plyometrics are now recommended as part of
performance-enhancing and injury-reducing youth
The growing popularity of youth
resistance training and the complex nature of
youth sport participation raise new questions and
concerns about the safety of youth resistance
training, the risk factors associated with resistance
training-related injuries in youth and the effective-
ness of preventive measures. Our purpose is to
review the current epidemiology of injury related
to the safety and efficacy of resistance training
among youth and to provide age-appropriate
training recommendations for children and adoles-
By definition, the term ‘‘resistance training’’ refers
to a specialised method of physical conditioning
that involves the progressive use of a wide range of
resistive loads, different movement velocities and a
variety of training modalities including weight
machines, free weights (barbells and dumbbells),
elastic bands, medicine balls and plyometrics. The
term ‘‘resistance training’’ should be distinguished
from the sports of weightlifting and powerlifting
in which individuals periodically train with heavy
loads and attempt to lift maximal amounts of
weight in competition. Resistance training should
also be distinguished from the sport of body-
building in which the goal is muscle size, symme-
try and definition. In this review, the term
‘‘youth’’ refers to both children and adolescents.
Incidence of injury
Current research findings indicate a relatively low
risk of injury in children and adolescents who
follow age-appropriate resistance training guide-
lines, which include qualified supervision and
A wide variety of resistance
training programmes from single-set sessions on
child-size weight machines to multi-set protocols
using different types of equipment have proved to
be safe and efficacious.
17 25–49
Of note, significant
gains in strength without any report of injury have
been reported in prospective studies in which
weightlifting movements (including modified
cleans, pulls and presses) were incorporated into
56 Br J Sports Med 2010;44:56–63. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.068098 on January 4, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
youth resistance training programmes.
44 46 47 49
These findings
are supported by others who found that the sport of
weightlifting can be safe for youth provided that well-informed
coaches supervise all training sessions and competitions in order
carefully to prescribe the weight lifted.
50 51
In the vast majority
of resistance training intervention studies summarised in
table 1,
17 25–49
the injury occurrence in children and adolescents
was either very low or nil and the resistance training stimulus
was well tolerated by the young subjects.
Three prospective research studies have reported training-
related injuries in youth that required cessation from training or
time away from a training session.
28 35 37
Namely, anterior
shoulder pain that resolved within one week of rest,
a strain of
a shoulder muscle that resulted in one missed training session
and non-specific anterior thigh pain that resolved with
5 minutes of rest.
A review of these findings revealed
estimated injury rates of 0.176, 0.053 and 0.055 per 100
participant hours, respectively, which suggest that supervised
resistance training protocols are relatively safe for youth.
28 35 37
Furthermore, Rians and colleagues
found no evidence of either
musculoskeletal injury (measured by biphasic scintigraphy) or
muscle necrosis (determined by creatine phosphokinase levels)
in children after 14 weeks of progressive resistance training on
hydraulic resistance machines.
The evaluation of maximal muscle strength has also proved
to be relatively safe for children and adolescents. Faigenbaum et
evaluated the safety and efficacy of 1 repetition maximum
(RM) testing in 96 children (6–12 years) and reported that
healthy boys and girls can safely perform maximal effort
strength tests on weight machines provided that appropriate
testing procedures are followed. In other reports, children and
adolescents safely performed 1 RM strength tests using free
36 37 53–55
These data suggest that children and adoles-
cents can safely engage in this type of strength testing provided
that appropriate loads are used, established guidelines are
followed and qualified professionals are present. Although
some observers are opposed to the use of 1 RM testing in
it is important to realise that many of the forces
that youth are exposed to in sports and recreational activities
(eg, gymnastics, rugby and running) are likely to be greater
both in duration and magnitude than properly performed
maximal strength tests.
A summary of descriptive and observational studies that
reported on the frequency or incidence of injury in youth from
resistance training, weightlifting or powerlifting are presented
in table 2.
23 51 56 57
In one retrospective evaluation of injury rates
in adolescents it was noted that resistance training and
weightlifting were markedly safer than many other sports and
In that study, the overall injury rate per 100
participant hours was 0.8000 for rugby and 0.0035 and 0.0017
for resistance training and weightlifting, respectively.
support of these findings, Pierce and colleagues
followed 70
competitive weightlifters (7–16 years) over a one-year period
(1224 lifts were performed in competition) and reported no
injuries that limited training or required medical attention.
A retrospective survey of resistance training injuries in 354
adolescent American football players found 27 injuries (causing
more than 7 days of missed participation), which resulted in
estimated injury rates in junior high school athletes (mean age
13.3 years), high school freshman/junior varsity athletes (mean
age 15.6 years) and high school varsity athletes (mean age
17.2 years) of 0.11, 0.091 and 0.51, respectively, per person-
In the aforementioned study,
only 36% of the training
sessions performed by junior high school athletes were
supervised by a coach. Brown and Kimball
estimated an injury
rate of 0.29/100 participant hours in adolescent powerlifters
who presumably trained with heavy loads on the bench press,
deadlift and back squat exercises.
Although discussions of resistance training-related injuries
typically include muscle strains and lower back pain, if safety
standards for youth resistance training are not followed there is
the potential for a catastrophic injury. In one case report, a 9-
year-old boy died at home when a barbell rolled off the bench
press support and fell on his chest while he was ‘‘playing’’ with
his older brother’s weights.
Serious accidents have also been
reported in adults who resistance train for recreation and
Location and type of injuries
The potential for soft tissue injuries from repetitive use is an
important consideration related to resistance training. In a
recent evaluation of ‘‘weightlifting’’ injuries (ie, resistance
training injuries), presenting to US emergency rooms,
Quatman and colleagues
reported that the trunk was the most
Figure 1 Reported high school
‘‘weightlifting’’ (ie, resistance training)
participants after the induction of Title IX
(school years 1973–2005) based on the
participation estimates from the High
School Athletics Participation Survey
conducted by the National Federation of
State High School Associations.
Reprinted from Quatman et al.
Reproduced by permission of the National
Strength and Conditioning Association,
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
Br J Sports Med 2010;44:56–63. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.068098 57 on January 4, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
commonly injured body part for both men (36.9%) and women
(27.4%) between the ages of 14 and 30 years. Others reported that
the lower back region was the most frequent site of injury site in
adolescent athletes who participated in a resistance training
56 57 60
In a retrospective study involving adolescent
powerlifters, 50% of reported injuries were to the lower back.
potential relevance, the average powerlifter in that report trained
4.1 times per week (99 minutes per training session) and a
majority of the training sessions were performed without super-
vision from a ‘‘trained coach’’.
In contrast, Myer and colleagues
reported that injuries to the trunk constituted only 12% of
reported injuries in youth aged 8–13 years. While the potential for
injury to the lower back is a concern, many modifiable and
controllable factors need to be considered when evaluating these
data (eg, quality of supervision and instruction, exercise technique,
progression of training loads and weekly training volume).
Table 1 Intervention studies of resistance training in youth
Reference Participants Intervention Injury outcome
Vrijens, 1978
M, ages 10–16 years E = 28 Eight ‘‘isotonic’’exercises, 1 set/8–12 reps, 3 6/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Sewall and Micheli, 1986
MF, ages 10–11 years 10E, 8C Weight machine, 3 sets/10 reps, 25–30 minutes, 3 6/week, 9 weeks No injuries
Funato et al, 1987
MF, ages 6–11 years 52E, 47C Maximum isometric elbow flexion, 2 6/day, 3 6/week, 12 weeks No injuries
Rians et al, 1987
M, ages 6–11 years 18E, 10C Hydraulic machine circuit, 45 minutes/session,36/week, 14 weeks,
shoulder pain
1 injury
Siegal et al, 1989
E = 26M, 24F, 8.4 years C = 30M, 16F,
8.6 years
Free weights, tubing, body weight, 30 minutes, 3 6/week, 12 weeks No injuries
Ramsay et al, 1990
26M, 9–11 years 13E, 13C Free weights and weight machines, 3–5 sets/5–12 reps, 3 6/week,
20 weeks
No injuries
Faigenbaum et al, 1993
MF ages 8–12 years 14E, 9C Weight machines, 7 exercises, 3 sets/10–15 reps, 2 6/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Ozmun et al, 1994
MF, ages 9–12 years 8E, 8C Dumbbell elbow flexion, 3 sets/7–11 reps, 3 6/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Faigenbaum et al, 1996
MF ages 7–12 years 15E, 9C Weight machines, 7 exercises, 3 sets/6–10 reps, 2 6/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Falk and Mor, 1996
M ages 6–8 years 14E, 15C Body weight, 3 sets/1–15 reps, 40 minutes, 2 6/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Lillegard et al, 1997
MF ages 9–15 years 52E, 39C Free weights and machines, 6 exercises, 3 sets/10 reps shoulder strain,
1 h/session, 3 6/week, 12 weeks
1 injury
Hetzler et al, 1997
E = 20M, 12–15 years C = 10M Free weight and machines, 17 exercises, 1–3 sets/10–12 reps, 3 6/
week, 12 weeks
No injuries
Faigenbaum et al, 1999
E = 22M, 9F, 5–11 years C = 9M, 3F Weight machines, 11 exercises, 1 set/6–15 reps, 2 6/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Sadres et al, 2001
E = 27M, 9–10 years C = 22M Free weights, 1–4 sets/5–30 reps, 3–6 exercises, 2 6/week, thigh pain,
21 months
1 injury
Pikosky et al, 2002
E = 7M, 4F, 8.6 years Weight machines and body weight, 9 exercises, 1–2 sets/10–15 reps,
2 6/week, 6 weeks
No injuries
Siegal et al, 1989
E = 26M, 24F, 8.4 years C = 30M, 16F,
8.6 years
Free weights, tubing, body weight, 30 minutes, 3 6/week, 12 weeks No injuries
Flanagan et al, 2002
MF, 8–9 years 38E, 20C Weight machines, body weight 1–3 sets/8–15 reps, 2 6/week, 8
exercises, 40 minutes, 10 weeks
No injuries
Faigenbaum et al, 2002
E = 34M, 21F, 7–12 years C = 8M, 5F,
9.3 years
Weight machines, 12 exercises, 1 set/10–15 reps, 1–2 6/week,
8 weeks
No injuries
Tsolakis et al, 2004
19M, 11–13 years 9E, 10C Weight machines, 3 sets, 6 exercises, 2 6/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Coutts et al, 2004
42M, 16.7 years 21E, 21C Free weights, 4–16 reps/set 7–8 exercises, 3 6/week, 12 weeks No injuries
Faigenbaum et al, 2005
22M, 19F, 8–12 years C = 9M, 3F Weight machines, 9 exercises, 1 set/6–20 reps,26/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Gonzalez-Badillo et al, 2005
E1 = 16M, 16.4 years E2 = 17M,
16.5 years E3 = 18M, 16.8 years
Free weights, 1–6 reps/1–3 sets, 4–5 6/week, 10 weeks No injuries
Faigenbaum and Mediate, 2006
E = 42M, 27F, 15–16 years C = 35M,
Medicine ball, 1–3 sets/5–15 reps, 15–40 exercises, 2 6/week, 6 weeks No injuries
Faigenbaum et al, 2007
E1 = 14M, 12–15 years E2 = 13M Free weights, body weight 4–12 reps/1–3 sets, 6–18 exercises, 2 6/
week, 6 weeks
No injuries
Faigenbaum et al, 2007
E = 22M, 13.9 years Free weights, 3 sets, 1–15 reps 9–10 exercises, 2 6/week, 8 weeks No injuries
Szymanski et al, 2007
E2 = 25M, 14–18 years E1 = 24M,
14–18 years
Free weights and medicine ball, 9–15 exercises, 2–3 sets/6–10 reps, 2–
3 6/week, 12 weeks
No injuries
Channell et al, 2008
E1 = 11M, 16.4 years E2 = 10M,
16.5 years C = 6M, 16.8 years
Free weights and body weight, 3–20 reps/3–5 sets, 8 weeks No injuries
C, control group; E, experimental group; F, female; M, male; reps, repetitions.
Table 2 Descriptive and observation studies on the frequency or incidence of injury in youth from resistance
training, weightlifting or powerlifting
Study Exercise activity Sample Injury incidence
Brown and Kimball, 1983
Powerlifting M, 14–19 years, N = 71 0.29 per 100 h
Risser et al, 1990
Resistance training M, 13.3 years (SD 0.08), N = 98 0.11 per person-year
Resistance training M, 15.6 years (SD 0.05), N = 159 0.091 per person-year
Resistance training M, 17.2 years (SD 0.04), N = 97 0.051 per person-year
Hamill, 1994
Weightlifting M, ,13–16 years, N = 1634+ 0.0017 per 100 h
Resistance training M, ,13–16 years, N = 4040+ 0.0035 per 100 h
Pierce et al, 1999
Weightlifting M, F, 7–16 years, N = 70 0.000
F, female; M, male.
58 Br J Sports Med 2010;44:56–63. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.068098 on January 4, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
Growth plate injuries
Another concern associated with youth resistance training is the
potential for injury to the physis or growth plate in a young
lifter’s body. The growth plate can be three to five times weaker
than surrounding connective tissue and it may be less resistant
to shear and tension forces.
Injury to this section of bone could
result in time lost from training, significant discomfort and
growth disturbance.
A summary of case reports of resistance
training-related physeal injuries in youth is provided in table 3.
Although a few retrospective case reports noted injury to the
growth cartilage in youth,
most of these injuries were caused
by improper lifting techniques, poorly chosen training loads or
lack of qualified adult supervision. For example, in one case
report a 13-year-old boy had bilateral fracture separations of the
distal radial epiphyses when he lost control of a barbell as he
attempted to press a 30 kg weight overhead while exercising
alone in a ‘‘makeshift gymnasium’’ at home.
It is unclear from
this report if this adolescent received instruction on proper
resistance training procedures or if he was involved in an
activity that could be characterised as ‘‘horse play’’.
Of note, injury to the growth cartilage has not been reported
in any prospective youth resistance training study that provided
professional guidance and instruction.
17 25–49
Furthermore, there
is no evidence that resistance training will negatively impact
growth in height during childhood and adolescence.
The risk
of growth plate injury may be greater when young athletes
perform jumping and landing activities during competitive sport
play that induces ground reaction forces of up to five to seven
times body mass.
69 70
Although youth resistance training does involve some degree of
inherent risk of musculoskeletal injury, this risk does not appear
to be any greater than other sports and recreational activities in
which children and adolescents regularly participate.
23 71
Zaricznyj and colleagues
evaluated the incidence of sports-
related injuries (based on accident reports) in school-age youth
over a one-year period and found that resistance training
resulted in 0.7% of 1576 injuries, whereas American football
resulted in 19% of all injuries. When the data were evaluated in
terms of injury to participant ratio in school team sports,
American football (28%), wrestling (16%) and gymnastics (13%)
were at the top of the list.
In support of these observations,
more recent data indicate that American football had the
highest injury rate (4.36 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures) for
nine sports studied.
A related concern regards the performance of plyometric
exercises (also called stretch-shortening cycle exercise) for
children and adolescents. Although some observers suggested
that a predetermined baseline level of strength (eg, 1 RM squat
should be 1.5 times body weight) should be a prerequisite for
lower body plyometric training,
this contention is not
supported by current research and clinical observations.
19 46 74–77
Plyometric training can be a relatively safe and effective method
of conditioning for children and adolescents if appropriately
prescribed and sensibly progressed over time.
11 19
Nonetheless, the addition of any type of resistance training to
the total exercise dose of young athletes (ie, sports practice,
sports competition and free play) should be carefully considered
as this type of training may add to the chronic repetitive stress
placed on developing musculoskeletal systems. Injury or illness
can result if the intensity, volume or frequency of training
exceeds the ability of the participants to perform technically
sound movements or to recover from earlier training bouts. For
example, a 12-year-old boy developed exertional rhabdomyo-
lysis after he was instructed to perform excessive (.250)
repetitive squat jumps in a physical education class.
By addressing the risk factors associated with resistance
training-related injuries it is possible to reduce the risk of injury
and enhance the training experience for young athletes.
Although additional research is warranted, common risk factors
that have been associated with sports-related injuries in youth
include: the adolescent growth spurt; age; biological maturity;
body size; poor coaching; fitness and previous injury.
hypothesised but untested factors include: poor conditioning;
muscle imbalances; inadequate nutrition; improper equipment;
hazardous playing conditions; poor exercise technique; training
errors and lack of coaching education.
79 80
Myer and colleagues
recently examined data from the
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in order
to evaluate resistance training-related injuries from patients
presenting to US emergency rooms (fig 2). They found that as
the age group increased (8–13, 14–18, 19–22 and 23–30 years)
the number of accidental injuries decreased significantly for
each successive age group. Of potential relevance, they noted
that two-thirds of the injuries sustained by 8–13-year-old
patients were to the hand and foot and were most often related
to ‘‘dropping’’ and ‘‘pinching’’ in the injury descriptions (fig 3).
Conversely, the number of joint sprains and muscle strains was
higher in the older age groups.
Although supervised and age-appropriate resistance training
is currently recognised by medical and fitness organisations to
be a safe and effective method of exercise for children and
teachers and coaches need to be aware of proper
resistance training procedures because the aggressive progres-
sion of training loads and the improper performance of free
weight lifts can be injurious.
56 60
A recurring theme in most
youth resistance training-related injuries is the lack of qualified
adult supervision and instruction. Without guidance from
professionals knowledgeable in youth resistance training proce-
dures, children and adolescents who use exercise equipment are
more likely to have an injury as a result of unsafe behaviour,
equipment malfunction and lack of proper supervision.
24 81 82
Table 3 Summary of case reports of resistance training-related physeal injury in youth
Reference Age (years) Injury location Exercise action, load
Ryan and Salciccioli, 1976
14–17 Distal radius Overhead press, 34–81 kg
Benton, 1982
3–18 Distal radius Not reported
Gumbs et al, 1982
12, 14 Distal radius and ulna Overhead press, 40–68 kg
Jenkins and Mintowt-Czyz, 1986
13 Distal radius Overhead press, 30 kg
Weiss and Sponseller, 1989
16 Distal radius Bench press, 48 kg
Browne et al., 1990
16 Lumbar ring apophysis Bench press, deadlift, ‘‘power
clings’’, 73–160 kg
Br J Sports Med 2010;44:56–63. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.068098 59 on January 4, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
Resistance training to prevent other sport injuries
In addition to enhancing strength and power, regular participa-
tion in a preseason conditioning programme that includes
resistance training may facilitate injury risk reduction during
sports participation. Comprehensive resistance training pro-
grammes that included plyometric exercises (and instruction on
jumping and landing techniques) have been found to enhance
movement biomechanics, improve functional abilities and
reduce the number of sport-related injuries in young ath-
Indeed, most multifaceted conditioning programmes
that included progressive resistance exercise have proved to be
an effective strategy for reducing sports-related injuries in
adolescent athletes.
83–85 87–90
However, one limitation of inter-
vention trials that use multiple interventions in a trial arm is
that it is difficult to characterise the contribution of each aspect
of the intervention to the decrease in injury.
Prevention of resistance training injuries
Research findings suggest that a majority of resistance training-
related injuries in children and adolescents are the result of
accidents, improper exercise technique or lack of qualified
24 82 91
Attention to weight room etiquette, safe use
of equipment, age-appropriate training and proper handling of
heavy objects may limit the risk of accidental injuries among
young lifters. Of note, qualified professionals who have an
understanding of youth resistance training guidelines and who
are knowledgeable of the physiological and psychosocial
uniqueness of children and adolescents should provide super-
vision and instruction (eg, UK Strength and Conditioning
Association level 1 strength and conditioning coach or National
Strength and Conditioning Association certified strength and
conditioning specialist). Although there have been no preventive
trials that have focused specifically on measures to prevent
resistance training injuries in children and adolescents, the
Figure 2 Estimated number of
‘‘weightlifting’’ (ie, resistance training)
injuries presenting in US emergency
rooms between the years 2002 and 2005.
Reprinted from Myer et al.
by permission of the National Strength
and Conditioning Association, Colorado
Springs, Colorado, USA.
Figure 3 Percentage of injuries of the
oldest and youngest age categories. Note
that the small prevalence of leg injuries in
the 8–13 years age categories provides
invalidated results and should be
interpreted with caution. Reprinted from
Myer et al.
Reproduced by permission of
the National Strength and Conditioning
Association, Colorado Springs, Colorado,
60 Br J Sports Med 2010;44:56–63. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.068098 on January 4, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
following recommendations appear warranted for apparently
healthy youth:
c All youth should have the emotional maturity to accept and
follow coaching instructions.
c All youth should wear comfortable attire that does not
restrict movement patterns and athletic footwear that
provides good traction and support.
c Resistance training sessions should begin with dynamic
warm-up activities.
c Resistance training sessions should include exercises for all
of the major muscle groups including the hips, abdomen and
lower back.
c The focus of youth resistance training programmes should
be on learning proper exercise technique and not on the
amount of weight lifted.
c Qualified professionals who have an understanding of youth
resistance training and paediatric fitness should provide
supervision and instruction.
c Qualified professionals should ensure the training area is
safe, adequately ventilated and free of any potential hazard.
c Qualified professionals should monitor each participant’s
ability to tolerate the exercise stress and should modify the
training programme when appropriate.
c Qualified professionals should systematically vary the
training programme over time in order to minimise the risk
of injury or overtraining.
c Lifestyle factors that influence training adaptations such as
proper nutrition, sufficient hydration and adequate sleep
should be addressed in youth sport programmes.
Well-designed longitudinal epidemiological studies are needed to
understand better the long-term effects of structured resistance
training on youth. This research should ensure the collection of
exposure data (time exposed) to support injury incidence
determination and comparisons with other sports and recrea-
tional activities. Accurate recording of information such as
equipment design and layout, level of supervision, training
experience, quality of instruction and programme design
variables (eg, exercises, sets, repetitions, load and frequency)
may be helpful to the evaluation of possible injury risk factors.
Studies are also needed to determine the effects of injury
prevention strategies (eg, coaching education and preparatory
resistance training) on acute and overuse injuries in young
athletes. Although youngsters as young as 6–8 years of age play
organised sports, no preventive trials have evaluated the effects
of fitness conditioning (including resistance training) on sports-
related injuries in children.
Epidemiological research will also help to provide descriptive
information on the location and type of injuries that are most
prevalent, where the injuries happened, when the injuries
occurred and time loss associated with injury. Descriptive data
on the resistance training protocol of young athletes may
provide additional insight into possible injury mechanisms and
risk factors and how programme design variables may influence
the rate and severity of injury. Cumulatively, these data will aid
in the development and implementation of evidence-based
prevention measures in schools, fitness centres and sports
training facilities that cater to children and adolescents.
Funding: GDM received funding support from the National Institutes of Health grants
R01-AR049735 and R01-AR055563.
Competing interests: None.
Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
1. Quatman C, Myer G, Khoury J, et al. Sex differences in ‘‘weightlifting’’ injuries
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What this paper adds
c This paper suggests that most injuries related to youth
resistance training are a result of inadequate professional
supervision, which underlies poor exercise techniques and
inappropriate training loads.
c The risk of musculoskeletal injury resulting from age-
appropriate resistance training, weightlifting and plyometrics
does not appear to be any greater than other sports and
recreational activities in which children and adolescents
regularly participate.
c Comprehensive conditioning programmes designed and
supervised by qualified professionals who have an
understanding of youth resistance training guidelines as well
as the physical and psychosocial uniqueness of children and
adolescents appear to be an effective strategy for reducing
sports-related injuries in young athletes.
What is already known on this topic
c There is clear evidence that resistance training can be a
worthwhile and beneficial activity for children and
c A growing number of youth are participating in resistance
training programmes in schools, recreation centres and sports
training facilities.
c Little is being done to address the risk factors associated with
resistance training-related injuries in young athletes.
Br J Sports Med 2010;44:56–63. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.068098 61 on January 4, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
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... RT is a training strategy that involves the use of a wide range of resistive loads, movement velocities, and a variety of training modalities, including weight machines, free weights, elastic bands, medicine balls, and body weight [20]. RT has been extensively studied as a tool to improve injury recovery and/or prevention in sports, as well as performance and health in adults [45,79], especially through the development of muscle strength and mass. ...
... For instance, RT-induced strength improvements are typically related to an increase in muscle cross-sectional area [53], so that muscle hypertrophy-related strength gains may lead to sport performance enhancement and reduced injury risk [20,79]. In turn, muscle strength consists in the ability to exert force or tension against a resistance at a given speed [2,39]. ...
... Indeed, caution merits to be exercised on this matter if we consider that (1) injuries to these structures could result in lost of training time, significant discomfort, and growth disturbances (in the case of epiphyseal plate or growth cartilage injuries) [9]; and (2) the growth plate may be less resistant to shear and tension forces [75]. However, an in-depth analysis of these retrospective studies reveals that most of the reported injuries were linked to improper lifting technique, poorly designed RT programs, and lack of qualified supervision, instruction or equipment [20]. ...
The aim of this manuscript was to review the evidence regarding the risks, concerns, and efficacy of resistance training (RT) on measures related to muscular fitness and hypertrophic responses of youth athletes, while also establishing recommendations to assist the prescription of RT in this population. PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched for studies that met the following inclusion criteria: (a) published in English as a full-text manuscript or thesis; (b) inclusion of RT protocols lasting > 6 weeks; (c) involvement of youth individuals (≤ 19 years) engaged in sport modalities. Twenty-nine studies assessing muscle strength, power and/or endurance in young athletes were identified; only one of these studies did not show significant improvements with RT, specifically in muscle power, but improvements were substantially heterogeneous across the studies. The literature is still inconclusive regarding the occurrence of muscle hypertrophy in response to RT among youth athletic population, but this was drawn from just seven studies in non-athletic populations. Injury rates among youth participants were low and less concerning in well-designed, progressed, supervised and technique-oriented RT programs. RT is an effective method to improve muscular fitness-related measures in young athletes. The varying experimental designs across studies still represent an obstacle to the establishment of precise guidelines for RT prescription in this population. Nevertheless, some suggestions about RT frequency, resting interval, intensity and volume were elaborated in this review to assist coaches working with youth athletes to optimize muscular fitness-related measures gains.
... Physical fitness assessments play a crucial role in evaluating the health and performance levels of children and adolescents, especially within sports and physical education programs [1][2][3]. Among the various fitness components, core strength is particularly important due to its association with overall physical performance and injury prevention [4][5][6]. ...
... However, it may not be suitable for children with low levels of overall physical fitness or reduced motor ability, as they may struggle to perform even a single repetition [3,[11][12][13]. In addition, children with conditions, such as early joint problems, or limited flexibility may find it challenging to effectively perform the sit-up test due to reduced body mobility and musculoskeletal strength capacity [2,4,5,7]. ...
Full-text available
Objectives to assess the reliability of the core “plank” test, investigate its correlation with abdominal resistance strength, and examine its longitudinal association before and after the COVID-19 pandemic in schoolchildren during the transition to adolescence. Methods The initial sample included 221 students aged 6–11 years in 2018 (58.8% of boys). These same students were re-evaluated between May and June 2023, at ages 11–16 years. The baseline assessments encompassed the plank isometric test and the abdominal sit-up (dynamic strength test). Due to resource limitations, only the plank test was conducted during the post-pandemic evaluation. To verify the reliability and reproducibility of the plank test, the two-way intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used, also correlation coefficients (r) were calculated. Results The final sample comprised 130 boys and 91 girls, and the plank test demonstrated high reliability for both genders, with ICC ranging from 0.623 to 0.869 for boys and 0.695 to 0.901 for girls, as well as high Cronbach’s alpha (α) values, indicating internal consistency. The results revealed significant correlations between the plank test and other physical fitness variables for both boys and girls. The sit-up test showed moderate positive correlations with the follow-up plank test in girls, while in boys, the correlation was weak and negative in the baseline evaluation but became moderate and positive when adjusted for age. Conclusions The isometric plank strength test is highly reliable in children aged 6–16 years and can be used as an alternative measure to assess core strength in school-aged children. In addition, there was a significant and strong relationship between the plank test and the abdominal sit-up strength-resistance test, which provides valuable insights for fitness assessment in this age group.
... Program latihan pembinaan kondisi fisik ini akan dilaksanakan melalui pendekatan yang holistik dan terstruktur (Faigenbaum & Myer, 2010). Metodologi yang akan digunakan meliputi: (1) Peningkatan Performa: Dengan kondisi fisik yang lebih baik, siswa akan mampu mengoptimalkan performa mereka dalam pertandingan dan latihan. ...
Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengembangkan dan menghasilkan suatu produk berupa program latihan kondisi fisik bagi siswa ekstrakurikuler sepak bola SMA Citra Bakti. Penelitian ini menggunakan pendekatan penelitian pengembangan yang mengadopsi tahapan pengembangan dari Borg & Gall dengan fokus penelitian pada pembuatan produk dan validasi ahli sebanyak 2 tahap. Data-data dalam penelitian ini dikumpulkan dengan menggunakan instrumen angket skala nilai. Analisis data penelitian menggunakan pendekatan analisis deskriptif kualitatif dan kuantitatif. Hasil evaluasi dan analisis data penelitian berdasarkan validasi 3 orang ahli menunjukkan bahwa produk akhir pengembangan berupa dokumen program latihan kondisi fisik memenuhi kriteria “Sesuai dan Layak” digunakan sebagai program latihan untuk pembinaan kondisi fisik siswa ekstrakurikuler sepak bola SMA Citra Bakti.
... With appropriate duration, it further stimulates IGF-1 secretion, fostering the healthy development of bones, muscles, and ligaments. This helps adolescents improve bone density and reduce fracture risks [76][77][78] . ...
Full-text available
Plyometric training boosts adolescents' jumping ability, crucial for athletic success and health. However, the best total ground contact frequency (TGCF) and overall intervention time (OIT) for these exercises remain unclear. This meta-analysis aims to identify optimal TGCF and OIT in plyometric training for adolescents, focusing on countermovement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ) outcomes. This systematic review encompassed five databases and included 38 studies with 50 randomized controlled experiments and 3347 participants. We used the Cochrane risk assessment tool for study quality and Review Manager 5.4 for data analysis. The current meta-analysis incorporated a total of 38 studies, comprising 50 sets of randomized controlled trials, to investigate the influence of different TGCFs and OITs on plyometric training. The Cochrane risk assessment tool indicated that all the included studies were classified as low risk. Various TGCFs in plyometric training positively affected CMJ and SJ heights in adolescents. The TGCF of less than 900 was ideal for enhancing CMJ, whereas more than 1400 was effective for SJ. The optimal OIT was 400–600 min, specifically, 500–600 min for CMJ and 400–500 min for SJ. Plyometric training improves jumping ability in adolescents. Lower ground contact frequency (< 900 contacts) enhances CMJ, while higher ground contact frequency (> 1400 contacts) is more effective for SJ. Optimal intervention time ranges from 400 to 600 min, with 500 to 600 min benefiting CMJ and 400 to 500 min improving SJ.
... In rehabilitation, compensatory movements improve function in the short term but reduce the effectiveness of rehabilitation and hinder motor function recovery in the long term [21]. Additionally, compensatory movements produced during strength training also reduce the load on the originally targeted muscle, which not only decreases the effectiveness of training but also leads to injury if not performed correctly [22]. Therefore, observing users' movements and detecting compensatory movements during exercise are important. ...
Full-text available
When exercise instructions are provided over the Internet, such as in online personal training, an instructor checks the user’s form by watching their motion video recorded using a single camera device. However, fixed shooting angles may affect the detection of incorrect forms, including compensatory movements. This study aimed to verify whether differences in the shooting direction could influence compensatory movement detection by conducting motion observation using training motion videos shot from two angles. Videos of four training movements, including compensatory movements, were simultaneously captured from the front and side. Ten university students studying physical therapy watched the videos from each angle to detect compensatory movements. This study revealed significant differences between the plane of motion in which the compensatory action occurred and the direction of shooting for the false responses in the compensatory action detection for the three movements (p < 0.05). The results indicated that the shooting direction and the plane of motion in which the compensatory action occurred affected the detection of compensatory movements, which was attributable to differences in information on the amount of joint change depending on the direction of joint motion observation and to a lack of binocular visual information necessary for depth motion detection.
... In general, muscular tness during childhood and adolescence has been identi ed as an important determinant of current and future health status [30]. Thus, a stronger, more resilient and powerful musculoskeletal system will enable children and adolescents to perform body movements more e ciently [31], especially during the performance of activities of daily living, in sports practice and in unforeseen emergencies [29,32]. ...
Full-text available
Background Body mass index (BMI) is an anthropometric indicator used as a predictor of risk in cardiovascular disease and mortality. Objective to verify the linear and nonlinear (quadratic) relationships between BMI and lower limb strength in children and adolescents of both sexes in a region of Chile. Methodology A descriptive (cross-sectional) study was carried out in children and adolescents of school age (6 to 17 years) of both sexes. The sample size was 863 schoolchildren (500 males and 363 females). Weight, height and the Horizontal jump test (HJ) were evaluated. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Z-BMI were calculated according to age and sex. Results In males, the explanatory power in the linear model (R = 0.15, R2 = 0.02, RMSE = 39.6) is lower than the non-linear quadratic model (R = 0.22, R² = 0.05, RMSE = 39.0). In females, the explanatory power in the linear model (R = 0.12, R² = 0.02, RMSE = 23.2) is lower than the quadratic nonlinear model (R = 0.19, R² = 0.04, RMSE = 22.9). In the Z-IMC scale, men presented HJ values of: [Low BMI 145.4 ± 39.5cm, normal 164.2 ± 33.6cm, and high BMI 109.0 ± 23.2cm]. In females it was: [Low BMI 108.0 ± 23.0cm, normal 113.5 ± 36.3cm, and elevated BMI 91.5 ± 30.4cm]. Conclusion The study verified a curvilinear relationship in the form of a parabola (quadratic) between BMI and the HJ test in children and adolescents of both sexes. Schoolchildren in the extreme BMI categories (low and high BMI) reflected low performance in the HJ in relation to schoolchildren with normal BMI.
Full-text available
Regimented resistance training (RT) has been shown to promote increases in muscle size. When engaging in RT, practitioners often emphasize the importance of appropriate exercise technique, especially when trying to maximize training adaptations (e.g.: hypertrophy). This narrative review aims to synthesize existing evidence on what constitutes proper exercise technique for maximizing muscle hypertrophy, focusing on variables such as exercise-specific kinematics, contraction type, repetition tempo, and range of motion (ROM). We recommend that when trying to maximize hypertrophy, one should employ a ROM that emphasizes training at long muscle lengths while also employing a repetition tempo between 2-8 seconds. More research is needed to determine whether manipulating the duration of either the eccentric or concentric phase further enhances hypertrophy. Guidelines for body positioning and movement patterns are generally based on implied theory from applied anatomy and biomechanics. However, existing research on the impact of manipulating these aspects of exercise technique and their effect on hypertrophy is limited; it is therefore suggested that universal exercise-specific kinematic guidelines are followed and adopted to the above recommendations. Future research should investigate the impact of stricter versus more lenient exercise technique variations on hypertrophy.
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статті описано дослідження впливу спеціально розробленої інтервальної тренувальної програми, як складової частини циклу дисциплін «Лікувальна фізична культура. Масаж» на фізичну реабілітацію студентів заочної форми навчання після операцій на колінному суглобі. У процесі написання статті використовувалася модель рандомізованого контрольованого дослідження (РКД), коли студенти були випадковим чином розподілені в основну групу, яка отримувала інтервальну програму тренувань, або в контрольну групу, яка отримувала стандартну реабілітацію. Вибірка складалася з осіб, які перенесли операцію на колінному суглобі та перебували на ранніх стадіях реабілітації. Програма інтервальних тренувань була ретельно розроблена з урахуванням певної інтенсивності, тривалості, частоти та прогресії вправ. Контрольна група дотримувалася стандартного реабілітаційного протоколу. Для оцінки впливу втручання використовували об’єктивні показники, такі як амплітуда рухів у коліні, м’язова сила, функціональні можливості та рівень болю, а також результати, про які повідомляли пацієнти. Результати дослідження виявили значні покращення у групі втручання порівняно з контрольною групою. Учасники групи інтервальних тренувань продемонстрували посилення м’язової сили, покращення функціональних можливостей та зниження рівня болю під час реабілітаційного періоду після операції на колінному суглобі. Ці результати свідчать про те, що включення програми інтервального тренування в процес реабілітації після операції на колінному суглобі може дати позитивні результати. Програма інтервальних тренувань може відігравати корисну роль у покращенні фізичного відновлення, функціональних можливостей та зменшенні болю в осіб, які перенесли операцію на колінному суглобі. Необхідні подальші дослідження для вивчення оптимальних характеристик програм інтервальних тренувань, включаючи тривалість, інтенсивність і прогресію, щоб максимізувати переваги для післяопераційної реабілітації колінного суглоба. Крім того, необхідні довгострокові дослідження для оцінки стійкості спостережуваних поліпшень і потенційного впливу на довгострокові функціональні результати і якість життя.
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Background This study examined the effect of neuromuscular programs on proprioception and balance in athletes with dynamic knee valgus (DKV) defects. Methods The present investigation involved the purposive and random allocation of 45 male soccer players with dynamic knee valgus (DKV) defects into three distinct groups: a control group (n = 15, age = 11.40 ± .74, weight = 36.24 ± 5.31, height = 140.73 ± 3.34, BMI = 19.93 ± 3.74, sport experience = 2.47 ± .52), Fifa11 + kids group (n = 15, age = 11.07 ± .88, weight = 32.61 ± 3.53, height = 138.40 ± 3.38, BMI = 16.03 ± 2.18, sport experience = 2.39 ± .42), and Stop-X group (n = 15, age = 11.40 ± .74, weight = 37.00 ± 4.10, height = 141.47 ± 4.63, BMI = 17.27 ± 2.22, sport experience = 2.27 ± .46). The leg landing test (ICC = 0.87), knee proprioception (ICC = 0.801), and stork balance (ICC = 0.76) were utilized for both pre- and post-implementation of the training protocol. After identifying the variables, the participants in the training cohort underwent an eight-week intervention consisting of the Stop X and FIFA 11 + Kids programs. The training programs included three sessions per week, each lasting between 20 and 25 minutes, while the control group followed their usual warm-up routine. A Mixed Repeated Measurement analysis was conducted using SPSS 26 software at a significance level of 0.05 to assess the differences between pre-test and post-test results. Results The study's results indicate a significant difference among the three groups in the Mixed Repeated Measurement test (p = 0.01). The Stop-X group showed significant differences compared to the control group (p = 0.01) and the FIFA11 + Kids group (p = 0.04) in terms of AKJPS. Moreover, the knee valgus in both the Stop-X (p = 0.03) and FIFA11 + Kids (p = 0.007) groups significantly differed from the control group. Additionally, there was a significant difference in stork balance before and after the intervention between the intervention groups and the control group. Conclusion The study findings suggest that Stop-X exercises are more effective than FIFA 11 + exercises in improving dynamic knee valgus and balance among young football players with knee valgus abnormalities.
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It has been indicated that dual tasks may multiply the possibility of injuries due to divided attention. This study aimed to investigate the effect of dual-task on kinematics and kinetics of jump landing in female athletes with and without dynamic knee valgus. In this study, 32 recreational athletes between 18 and 30 years old were recruited and divided into with (n = 17) and without (n = 15) dynamic knee valgus groups. The 3-D positions of retroreflective markers were recorded at 200 Hz using a 8-camera Kestrel system (Motion Analysis Corporation, Santa Rosa, CA), while ground reaction forces were synchronously recorded at 1000 Hz using 2 adjacent force plates (FP4060-NC; Bertec Corporation, Columbus, OH). Kinematics and kinetics of jump landing were recorded while counting backward digits as a dual task, and also without counting backward digits as a single task. One-way repeated measures of variance were used to analyse data at the significant level of 95% (α < 0.05). The study found that the dual-task affected the angles and moments of hip, knee, and ankle joints (P < 0.05) in both groups. Additionally, the effect of the dual-task differed significantly between the two groups in the angles hip flexion (P < 0.001), knee abduction (P < 0.001), and ankle internal rotation (P = 0.001), as well as the moments hip flexion (P < 0.001), hip abduction (P = 0.011), knee flexion (P = 0.017), knee internal rotation (P < 0.001), ankle dorsiflexion (P = 0.046), ankle eversion (P < 0.001), and ankle internal rotation (P = 0.046). Athletes with dynamic knee valgus may have been less able to protect themselves during the landing and are more prone to lower extremities injuries. As a result, using kinematics and kinetics in athletes with dynamic knee valgus during landing may help identify potential mechanisms associated with risk factors of lower extremity injuries and ACL injuries as well.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of 2 school years (21 months) of a twice-weekly resistance training program on stature, muscle strength, and self-concept among prepubertal boys. The experimental group (E, n = 27) aged 9.2 ± 0.3 yrs, participated in progressive resistance training, while the control group (C, n = 22) aged 9.4 ± 0.3 yrs, participated in standard physical education classes (as advised by the Ministry of Education). Training sessions included 1-4 sets of 3-6 exercises, with 5-30 repetitions/set. The load ranged between 30% and 70% 1RM. No differences were observed in the gain in body height between groups. Muscle strength increased significantly more in E (e.g., knee extensors: 0.51 ± 0.13 to 0.77 ± 0.16 kg/kg body mass), compared with C (0.34 ± 0.12 to 0.54 ± 0.11 kg/kg body mass). One minor injury was reported throughout the study. Initial scores of self-concept were high in both groups, with no training effect. The results demonstrate that among prepubertal boys, a twice-weekly low-to-moderate-intensity resistance training program over a period of 2 school years (21 months) can result in enhancement in muscle strength with no detrimental effect on growth.
The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of a 12-week training program on the motor performance of 6- to 8-year-old prepubertal boys (n = 14). Each subject participated in a 40-min session twice a week, which included three sets of upper body strength exercises (1 to 15 repetitions/ set), unregimented lower body strength exercises, coordination, balance, and martial arts skills. The control group included 15 prepubertal boys in the same age range. All subjects were pre- and posttested on 20-s sit-ups, seated ball put, standing broad jump, sit-and-reach flexibility, 6 × 4-m shuttle run, and a coordination task. The experimental group improved significantly (p < .05) more than the control group in the sit-ups and in the long jump. Both groups improved (p < .05) in the coordination task. No significant changes were observed in body weight, seated ball put, flexibility, and shuttle run. A twice-weekly training program seems to improve performance in selected motor tasks in 6- to 8-year-old boys.
Participation in high school sports helps promote a physically active lifestyle. High school sports participation has grown from an estimated 4 million participants during the 1971-72 school year to an estimated 7.2 million in 2005-06. However, despite the documented health benefits of increased physical activity (e.g., weight management, improved self-esteem, and increased strength, endurance, and flexibility), those who participate in athletics are at risk for sports-related injuries. High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations annually. To date, the study of these injuries has been limited by inabilities to calculate injury rates, compare results among groups, and generalize findings from small, nonrepresentative samples. During the 2005-06 school year, researchers at a children's hospital in Ohio used an Internet-based data-collection tool to pilot an injury surveillance system among athletes from a representative national sample of U.S. high schools. This report summarizes the findings of that study, which indicated that participation in high school sports resulted in an estimated 1.4 million injuries at a rate of 2.4 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures (i.e., practices or competitions). Surveillance of exposure-based injury rates in a nationally representative sample of high school athletes and analysis of injury patterns can help guide activities aimed at reducing these injuries.
To assess the effects of a group resistance exercise program on prepubescent children, an experimental group of boys ( n = 26) and girls ( n = 24), with a mean age of 8.4 ± 0.5 years, participated in 12 weeks of school based training. The program consisted of upper body exercise using hand-held weights, stretch tubing, balls, and self-supported movements. A control group of boys ( n = 30) and girls ( n = 16), mean age 8.6 ± 0.5 years, had a free-play period. Boys were significantly stronger than girls on all initial strength evaluations and were taller and had lesser skinfold sums. ANCOVA was used to evaluate pre/post changes in cable tensiometer elbow flexion and extension, right and left handgrip strength, pull-ups, flexed arm hang, sit-ups, sit-and-reach flexibility, and body composition parameters. Following the training period, significantly greater gains were made by the experimental group for right handgrip, flexed arm hang, pull-ups, and flexibility. Greater decreases in sum of skinfolds were also found. Training responses of boys and girls were similar. It was concluded that a group strength training program can be an effective means of increasing fitness levels and improving body composition in both boys and girls of this age.
The effectiveness of a twice-a-week strength training program on children was evaluated in 14 boys and girls (mean age 10.8 yrs) who participated in a biweekly training program for 8 weeks. Each subject performed three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions on five exercises with intensities ranging between 50 and 100% of a given 10-repetition maximum (RM). All subjects were pre- and posttested on the following measures: 10-RM strength, sit and reach flexibility, vertical jump, seated ball put, resting blood pressure, and body composition parameters. The subjects were compared to a similar group of boys and girls (n = 9; mean age 9.9 yrs) who were randomly selected to serve as controls. Following the training period, the experimental group made greater gains in strength (74.3%) as compared to the control group (13.0%) (p < 0.001), and differences in the sum of seven skinfolds were noted (−2.3% vs. +1.7%, respectively, p < 0.05). Training did not significantly affect other variables. These results suggest that parti...