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Strength Training for Youth

Researchers encourage people to share evidence-based information.

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Trainer teaching strength training for youth

If you train kids, are you including youth strength training activities? Leading researchers encourage the sharing of well-established, evidence-based information of the benefits of resistance training as early as ages 5–7, noting that youth training improves muscular fitness, motor skills, bone mineral density, cardiometabolic health and weight control and reduces sports injury risks.

Experts note that many myths pervade youth strength training, particularly the notions that it is unsafe and one needs to wait until children are 12 years old. Studies show children are ready to train as soon as they are old enough to follow directions and safety rules and that technique-driven training methods can be safe and effective.

The infographic and comment is published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2022; doi:10.1136/bjsports-2022-105804.

See also: Functional Training for Youth

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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