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Pediatr Clin North Am. 1990 Oct;37(5):1187-210.

Strength training in children and adolescents.

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Center for Sports Medicine, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco, California.


Strength is the ability to exert muscular force against resistance. It is a fundamental requirement of most daily physical activities of children and of adults. Strength training is the use of progressive resistance exercise methods specifically to increase strength. Strength training for children and adolescents is not without risk. Proven medical concerns relate to back, shoulder, and other joint injuries and to hypertension and related diseases. However, the rate of injury is probably rather low, comparable to many youthful activities that are considered safe. Also, the incidence and severity of injury can probably be minimized by adherence to the guidelines presented. Children may be expected to become stronger with appropriate training. Increased strength can enhance their performance in those athletic activities in which strength, power, or speed are required. It may reduce the incidence and severity of overuse injury in sport. However, it cannot reasonably be expected to protect against serious, acute injury in sport.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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