Should Kids be Strength Training?

18/07/2018

Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

You’ve probably heard at some point that strength training can stunt growth and your adult height. But is this true? …

 

Growth plates are areas of growing tissue at the end of long bones. As a child, they are soft areas during development that are more susceptible to injury. As children grow into young adults and physical maturity, the growth plates begin to develop, and the soft bones become hardened.

During this time of growth plate development, injuries can still occur and are quite common. Growth plate injuries account for 15-30% of all bone injuries in children. But what about stunting height and growth… does lifting weights cause this extreme effect?

In a study that evaluated children over a 1-year period, fewer than 1% of these children in primary school through to high school, were injured at the result of resistance training.

So, lifting weights is less likely to cause injury to the growth plate then soccer.

What’s more is the National Strength and Conditioning Association came out with a statement: “there is no evidence to suggest that resistance training will negatively impact growth and maturation”.

In addition, there has been several research papers from Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise - reported teenage boys who were weight lifters, had 20- 35 % higher bone mineral density (BMD).

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For those people who are not familiar with BMD – having higher BMD, reduced risk of fractures and stronger bones

So,

  • There is no evidence to suggest lifting weights stunts height

  • There is evidence that teenage boys who weight lift, have stronger bones and a higher BMD

  • There is evidence suggesting very few injuries arising from lifting weights compared to other sports such as soccer and basketball

 

In summation, teenagers lifting weights = good

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What’s the best way to start a strength training program for kids? Here are some points:

  • Seek instruction and supervision

  • Warm up and cool down

  • Rest between workouts

  • Keep it fun

This information can be used to gain a better understanding on the benefits of strength training in children. To find out more about how we can help, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

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Written by Michael

Physiotherapist

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