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Phys Sportsmed. 2011 May;39(2):50-63. doi: 10.3810/psm.2011.05.1895.

A review of resistance exercise training in obese adolescents.

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University of Ottawa, School of Human Kinetics, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Resistance training-also known as strength or weight training-has been well recognized by several national organizations as a safe and beneficial exercise modality for the health and well-being of children and adolescents. Resistance exercise improves muscular strength and can improve body composition (eg, increase lean body mass and decrease percent body fat) provided that a sufficient exercise stimulus is prescribed. Effects of resistance exercise training on body composition and metabolic profile are well established in obese adults, but warrant further investigation in obese youth. This article reviews the rationale for including a resistance training component with interventions geared toward overweight and obese adolescents by discussing the effects on various health measures. Shortcomings in published trials, including small, ethnic minority samples of short-duration and low-frequency exercise sessions primarily conducted in prepubertal youth (rather than postpubertal adolescents) limit the generalizability of the published literature on the effectiveness of resistance exercise in obese adolescents.

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