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Strength and Power Training for Kids – Is It Safe?

Sport has become so competitive lately. With the lure of the glory in professional sport and contracts becoming more and more lucrative, athletes are beginning to condition themselves at younger ages and more strenuously than ever before. This often raises a concern of the safety of resistance and power training in kids. This article offers some helpful information for youngsters and their parents on the topic of strength and power training and tips on how to ensure exercise safety and effectiveness.

The enduring concept that high intensity exercise like weightlifting and power training are bad for children has been perpetuated for years. Concerns such as injury or damage to bones and ligaments possibility of stunting the child’s growth have been eased a great deal with recent studies.

The main concern is that resistance training in children and teens may damage an area of the bone called the epiphyseal or growth plate. This is an area composed of growth cartilage where ossification (bone forming) has not yet occurred and is therefore softer and supposedly more prone to injury. Epiphyseal plates remain active through most of the teen years, allowing for linear growth and increases in height. In the late teen years and early 20’s however, the growth plates “seal” and ossify – becoming hard (cortical) bone.

Another concern of intense weight bearing exercise in kids is the possibility that it may be damaging to the ligaments and tendons of the joints. This concern stems from the fact that during the maturation process youngsters have extra laxity or flexibility in the ligaments and tendons of their joints. It is thought that this additional flexibility may predispose the child to injury.

Recent studies however have failed to find a strong connection between intense آموزش بازی انفجار like weight lifting and resistance training in children; in fact it is estimated that forces experienced in the child’s sport may even exceed those in resistance training programs.

Even power training programs including classic Olympic lifts such as power cleans and snatches have been deemed safe for children to perform as long as precautions are taken, the program is sufficiently monitored by an experienced fitness professional and adequate warm-up and preconditioning is guaranteed. It is also important that the exercise program be periodized and progressed in such a way that the youngster develops a sufficient base of strength, flexibility and core stability before moving on to highly intense exercise such as power training.

Performing exercises such as Olympic power lifts with poor technique can be potentially injurious, so it is critical that a youngster performing these exercises be instructed of the correct lifting technique. Power training by its very nature is explosive, so experienced instruction will not only increase levels of safety, but will also increase the effectiveness of the exercises.

The exercise instructor must be competent and able to recognize lifting faults and give feedback to correct them. Unfortunately, a large majority of children and their parents don’t have access to exercise professionals qualified and certified to instruct this type of exercise. Even high school coaches may not have sufficient knowledge, experience or time for the task. As a result, many youngsters may be performing complicated lifts with poor technique and not even realize it.