2012-04-27 08:21:06 by Public Relations staff, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.
While it’s common for high school athletes to lift weights to build muscle mass or increase strength, many parents wonder at what age kids should begin strength training.
“Athletes as young as 8 or 9 can benefit from a supervised strength training program, as long as it’s the children who want to pursue it and not the parents,” said Joseph Congeni, MD, director of Akron Children’s Hospital’s Sports Medicine Center.
Strength training using weights is not the same as competitive weight lifting, which is not recommended until adulthood.
For young athletes, strength training should focus on strengthening their core (trunk, spine and abdominal muscles) and improving their balance and functioning.
Dr. Congeni offers these general guidelines:
Dr. Congeni cautions parents to be realistic about what their child is able to achieve.
“Elite athletes have genetic gifts that give them athletic advantages. Training and conditioning can help your athlete improve performance and avoid injury, but be realistic about your expectations,” Dr. Congeni said.
Akron Children's Sports Medicine Center staff is available to develop a safe and effective strength training program for your athlete. For more information, call 330-543-8260.
(8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
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