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J Strength Cond Res. 2014 May;28(5):1454-64. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000391.

Chronological age vs. biological maturation: implications for exercise programming in youth.

Author information

1
1Youth Physical Development Unit, School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, United Kingdom; 2Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey; 3Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; 4Department of Pediatrics and Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio; 5Sports Medicine, Sports Health and Performance Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; 6The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Boston, Massachusetts; and 7School of Sport and Exercise, University of Gloucestershire.

Abstract

Biological maturation is associated with significant change to a number of physiological and structural processes throughout childhood and, in particular, adolescence. Mismatched rapid growth in the long bones relative to muscular lengthening may disrupt structure, neuromuscular function, and physical performance. Practitioners who work with school-age youth should be aware of the age-related changes that typically take place during a child's development to ensure that their strength and conditioning programming is as safe and effective as possible for enhancing performance and reducing injury risk. Although there are several methods available to assess biological maturation, practitioners who work with youth can benefit from assessment methods that are available and feasible, and that provide utility in the quantification of the degree and stages of biological maturation that affect motor performance in children and adolescents. This article synthesizes the relevant assessment methods and provides a rationale for understanding usable biological maturation assessment tools that can aid in the development of training program design for youth.

PMID:
24476778
DOI:
10.1519/JSC.0000000000000391
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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