Safe resistance training for the youth athlete

chamber_ft_logo2Providing youth athletes with opportunities to grow and learn is a consistent theme amongst coaches, parents, and educators. One of the questions we are asked every year regarding youth athletes is this: “When should youth athletes begin to use resistance training in their development?” Traditionally, this idea was met with negative feedback, implying kids would get injured, hurt, or alter their growth patterns. However, new research published in the last few years has shown this is not the case. In fact, increased participation in sports has led to overuse injuries and compensation patterns.

While providing a definitive starting age for kids is difficult because of individual differences, we can now say that it is beneficial for them to start early. An early start is okay as long as it is overseen by a qualified coach who emphasizes safety first, and a gradual progression. Along with safety and progression, keeping it in a fun and engaging environment is also encouraged. Here are 5 reasons backed by current research to start youth athletes on a simple performance training plan:

  1. Build foundational movement patterns: Providing youth athletes with opportunities to bend, push, pull, jump, rotate, and load in safe and controlled conditions will enhance their development for long term growth.
  1. Enhance neuromuscular function: Training movements will improve a youth athlete’s mind-body connection by facilitating a groove that combines focus and awareness.
  1. Preparation for sport and seasonal demands: With increased demands and loads placed on sport seasons and the stressors associated with it, a sound performance training program will only make their season more productive and enjoyable.
  1. Build resistance to injuries: Research has shown that building bone density and tissue strength through progressive and functional strength training programs for youth athletes will improve their health, prevent injuries, and enhance function.
  1. Education and proper instruction for lifelong habits and enthusiasm: The earlier you can begin building positive habits and learning patterns by showing youth athletes the pattern for success and having them experience it, the more rewarding the experience will be for them and the more likely they will stick with it.

Irik Johnson is the Chief Performance Officer for Fast Twitch, an Under Armour Elite Training Company with multiple facilities in the South Florida area. Irik earned a master’s degree in Sports Science from Ithaca College and has over ten years of experience in the performance industry.

Connect To Your Customers & Grow Your Business

Click Here


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here