Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article
Strength training (or resistance training) uses
a resistance to increase an individual's ability to exert force. It
involves the use of weight machines, free weights, bands or tubing, or the
individual's own body weight. This is not the same as Olympic lifting,
power lifting, or body building, which requires the use of ballistic movements
and maximum lifts and is not recommended for children.
The following are answers from the American Academy
of Pediatrics to common questions about strength training.
The risks of participating in an unsupervised
strength training program include injury to the discs and growth plates of the
spine and even occasionally death from weights landing on the chest wall. A
well-supervised program has a coach-to-student ratio of 1:10 or less and proper
certification of the instructor. Significant injuries are rare in
well-supervised programs, but can include stress fractures of the shoulder
(osteolysis) or spine (spondylolysis), muscle strains, disc herniation, and
tendinitis. Misuse of anabolic steroids to improve physique is another possible
Strength training improves muscle strength and
stamina. Regular participation in strength training improves cardiac (heart)
health, body composition, and bone mineral density, and decreases cholesterol
levels. It is particularly helpful for overweight (obese) youth because it
increases lean body mass and metabolic rate without the extra stress on the
body. In some sports (like swimming or tennis), strength training may prevent
common rotator cuff problems. Research also shows a possible reduction in knee
injuries in girls when strength training is combined with a plyometric (jumping)
Strength training is not recommended for people
with the following:
Uncontrolled high blood pressure
Prior history of childhood cancers
treated with chemotherapy
Children with complex congenital heart disease
should get an OK by a pediatric cardiologist before starting a strength training
The proper age is based on the following:
Maturity (if the child has reached
certain developmental milestones)
The type of sport the child wants to
A desire to participate
The discipline to train several times a
The ability to listen and follow
Most young athletes have these characteristics
and can maintain proper balance and postural control by around 7 or 8 years of
To get the most out of strength training,
Include aerobic training along with
Train 2 to 3 times a week for 20 to 30
Warm up and cool down for at least 10
Practice all lifts without weights to
make sure form and technique are correct. As techniques are mastered,
weights can be slowly added.
Work all major muscle groups including
the core. Joints should be moved through a full range of motion.
Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 15
Train for a minimum of 8 weeks.
Gradually increase weights by no more
than 10% per week.
To prevent injuries, keep the following in
Use proper techniques when lifting.
Adjust machines for height.
Always wear proper clothing and
closed-toe shoes with good traction.
Always weight train with proper
supervision and spotting.
Start each session with a 10- to
15-minute warm-up. Avoid rapid breathing (hyperventilation), bearing
down, or holding your breath while lifting.
No maximum 1 repetition, maximum
weights, or ballistic maneuvers should be performed before reaching
Stop lifting at once if pain is
There are many different strength training
certification programs in the United States. Some require only an open- book
test to become certified, while others require a college degree, CPR training,
written and practical examinations, and continuing education to maintain
certification. We recommend that, at a minimum, the program be certified through
the National Committee for Certifying Agencies.
The organizations with the most national
recognition are the National Strength and Conditioning Association (www.nsca-lift.org), the American Council on Exercise
(www.acefitness.org), and the American College of Sports Medicine (www.acsm.org).
Listing of resources does not imply an endorsement
by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the
content of the resources mentioned in this publication. Web site addresses are
as current as possible, but may change at any time.
The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
If you think that you are having a medical emergency,
call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!
And when in doubt, call your doctor NOW
or go to the closest emergency department.
By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither RemedyConnect nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any express or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.
RemedyConnect, Inc. has created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this website: http://www.remedyconnect.com.
Acquisition of Information through PMD
We do not acquire any more information about website visitors than is required by law or is otherwise necessary to provide a high level of service efficiently and securely. Our site's registration form requires users to give us contact information (e.g., their name and e-mail address) and demographic information (e.g., children's birth months, but not birth dates). We use customer contact information from the registration form to (1) send the user pertinent medical and parenting information and (2) allow your local health provider lists of who is registering on that provider's site as a parent/guardian, staff member, doctor, or visitor. Users may opt-out of receiving future mailings; see the choice/opt-out section below.
We use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our Website. Your IP address is used to help identify you and to gather broad demographic information.
Demographic and profile data is also collected at our site. We may use this data to tailor the visitor's experience at our site, showing them content that we think they might be interested in, and displaying the content according to their preferences.
Our site may use order forms to allow users to request information, products, and services.
Your Doctor's Right to Privacy
We will respect your doctor's right to privacy. A doctor typically does not give his/her e-mail address to the parents/guardians of patients. We will not provide the e-mail addresses of doctor(s) in the local practice to users of their site without the doctor(s)' permission. Their site is restricted to use by whomever they wish, and they may deny access to their site to one or more prior users. In unusual cases, doctors may change their private site's access code and arrange for us to e-mail the new access code to approved users.
This site contains links to other sites. RemedyConnect.com is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such Websites. See Disclaimers.
Disclosure to Third Parties
We will provide individually-identifiable information about website users to third parties only if we are compelled to do so by order of a duly-empowered governmental authority, we have the express permission of the visitor, or it is necessary to process transactions and provide you services from our affiliates: Live Agent Answering Service, Digital Answering Service, Medical Answering Service and Pediatric Answering Service.
Privacy and Our Business Partners
This site may make chat rooms, forums, message boards, and/or news groups available to its users. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information.
This site has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. For further information regarding our security, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any concerns regarding the security of information, please do not provide any information to RemedyConnect, Inc. until you are comfortable with our security measures.
You may correct or update your User Registration information at any time, by visiting the User Registration section and providing your personal password that you set at registration. If need be, please email us at email@example.com.
Our site provides users the opportunity to opt-out of receiving e-mail communications from our partners or us, except communications approved by your doctor's practice office. To so opt-out, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To be removed as a user, please email us at the same address. If need be, you may mail requests to us at RemedyConnect, Inc., 9200 E. Mineral Avenue, Suite 100, Centennial, CO 80112. Our telephone number is 303-793-0703.
Contacting the Website
If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this Website, you can contact us by email at email@example.com or by mail at our address above.