Lifting weights and strength training is an activity that is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and beneficial for safe and healthy aging. It is recommended that adults strengthen major muscle groups 2x/week to maintain lean muscle mass and prevent loss of muscle and strength as we age. When it comes to children high school aged and younger, there is more hesitancy around strength training. Often there is concern about injury or “stunting growth.” However, no such issues occur from supervised strength training in the younger population. Strength training in the younger population is beneficial for maintaining bone health, helps minimize risk of injury in youth sports, and provides a great base of knowledge and training experience as the child grows up.
With the current climate of youth sports and early specializing, there have been higher incidences of youth sports injuries. These can include something as common as an ankle sprain, and can also be as serious as a broken bone or an injury to the growth plate. An injury to a growing bone can be more complex because as we are actively growing and not fully mature yet, our growth plates need to stay open to allow for that growth. An injury to the growth plate can potentially impact growth of the bone if not treated and is important to determine early on in the injury process.
When a child gets injured, Physical Therapy focuses on restoring movement and strength around the injured area and providing a structured, specific routine to help the child prevent future injuries and move more efficiently as they continue to grow. It also is a great entry point into the concept of strength training and learning optimal form of exercises that are often performed in a group setting with kids, either at practice or in gym class. Strength training aids in proper development of the child and can make them more resilient to injuries as well as perform better in sports, or even just running around the yard. It is also a great way to bond with a younger child and becomes another activity that the child and parent can perform together, learn, and grow with.
If you have questions about how to safely introduce your child to strength training, if they have suffered an injury, or if you are looking to provide your child an injury prevention program for their favorite sport, Zion Physical Therapy is your resource. Zion specializes in orthopedic injuries, pediatric sports injuries, return to sport, and hypermobility/EDS.
Call today, 212-353-8693 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pediatric and exercise https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20463500/