4 Reasons Youths Must Strength Train
Protection against injuries
If you play competitive sports- you will get injured. Injuries do happen in low impact, non-collision sports such as swimming often due to heavy volume with poor technique while having weak muscles/tendons. Injury rates increase with land/ice based collision sports such as hockey, lacrosse and soccer. One’s ability to create proximal ‘stiffness’ in the torso prior to contact can be protective against injuries including reducing the incidence of concussions. Stiffness is enhanced by resistance training. Strength training also improves posture (working smaller stabilizing muscles), flexibility (tissues stretch under load), and dynamic movements.
Sport Specific skills are enhanced
Being stiff with better posture and increased strength through a full range of motion will enhance your movements and improve your ability to execute and hold your form in your favorite sport. You’ll be able to ‘find’ resistance in the water as a swimmer or hold a ‘low’ position during a skating stride.
Improvements in Endurance
Your neuro-muscular efficiency will improve. When stronger it takes fewer motor units and less effort to do the same work. This is also due to increased efficiency as per point #2 above. Your capacity to handle work also increases.
Increased Speed and Power
You will increase your ability to put force into the ground, ice or the water. With running/skating, your ability to accelerate and reach top speed will improve as well your ability to decelerate and change directions. If your youth is not currently strength training we suggest incorporating a sport specific training program to take advantage of all the benefits.