Strength Training as a Family Affair

Thought this was a very informative article about strength training in pediatrics.

When I tore my ACL when I was 14, the pediatric orthopedic surgeon I went to see thought it was only a sprain and told me just to rest.  After doing a lateral run and getting more injured, I went to see an adult surgeon, and then an ACL re-construction followed.

After that, I was the only 14 year old at a gym working out and most people would ask what I was doing there.  I’m glad to see that strength training is becoming a more common practice especially as kids are entering competitive sports at a younger age.

We also see adolescent patients here in the clinic that have various joint pain with or without participation in sports, and really have to stress to parents how important strengthening is and that they have to follow through with it if they want to see results.

The article also shows a video from a noted advocate of pediatric strength training, Dr. Metzl.  So go take a look at the article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/strength-training-as-a-family-affair/

Here are some key paragraphs from the article:

Not long ago, many doctors would have warned parents like Ms. Milano to keep their children out of the weight room, citing the conventional wisdom that young people don’t need muscle enhancement and that pumping iron will only stunt their growth and cause injuries.“We want kids to play sports,” he added, “but we also want to figure out how to make them safer.”

But exactly what constitutes safe and effective strength training for young people? Dr. Metzl says the most important thing to realize is that strength training is not the same as powerlifting. For youngsters, the emphasis should be on low weight and high repetitions. If a child cannot lift a weight for 15 reps, then it’s too heavy, Dr. Metzl says. In fact, many of the most useful strengthening exercises for children are full-body movements that do not involve any weights at all.

But in recent years the medical establishment has changed its tune. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that when done properly, resistance training has no adverse effects on growth in children and can increase strength and bone density without creating bulky muscles, and many studies have found it can be safe and beneficial.

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