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Kids Stuff: Should Teens Strength Train?

Posted Aug 07 2013 8:00am
I still remember when I was 13 and doing my first barbell squat. I felt like the female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger on muscle beach. Yet, when I shared my achievement with my parents they were worried about me harming my spine and bone mass. Twenty five years after that initial barbell squat, I am now strength and conditioning coach, and still find many parents facing the same concern as mine. But does early age resistance training really present a problem for a growing teen’s muscles and bones? While parents’ concern deserves attention, coaches and trainers have learned that adolescent’s bodies are not simply small versions of adults. “During growth spurts, the body changes rapidly and this can especially affect the musculoskeletal system,” says Nick DiNubile, orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and author of FrameWork-Your 7 Step Program for Healthy Muscles, Bones & Joints. “Muscle/tendon imbalances can occur because bone can grow faster than the surrounding muscles and tendons. The result can be tight muscle groups and some imbalances that predispose to certain injuries and orthopedic conditions, like low back pain, patellar pain syndrome and hamstring pulls.” Also, a growing body is influenced by gender, he says. “The female [...]
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