Parents can have concerns when it comes to strength & conditioning for their children.  Is it safe?  Will resistance training stunt my son / daughters growth?  What age can my child start training?  Can strength and conditioning benefit my childs performance?  Research suggests that there is a place for strength & conditioning in youth performance.  The increase in youth strength & conditioning coaching supports this.


Benefits of strength & conditioning on youth performance

Several sceintific studies have looked at youth strength & conditioning.  They have shown that properly supervised and structured programmes can benefit youth athletes:

  • Increased overall fitness
  • Improved sports performance
  • Better motor drive and synchronisation of muscle recruitment
  • Increased flexibility
  • Faster speed and higher vertical jump performance
  • Increased oxygen carrying capacity
  • Reduced risk of injury

In addition to these performance benefits, young people who engage in strength & conditioning also experience improved health markers:

  • Reduced body fat
  • Increased bone density
  • Higher levels of self esteem and confidence


Implementing youth strength & conditioning effectively

Many parents worry about doing too much too soon.  Generally speaking, if a child is taking part in organised sports then they will be able to do strength & conditioning acitvities.  Parents should seek out qualified staff, such as those that hold the C.S.C.S certification.  Models of Long Term Athlete Development provide strutured guidance realtive to a childs level of maturity.  Youth strength coaches should also observe a 1 to 10 coach to athlete ratio or less.

NK Fitness work with a growing number of youth athletes.  Our recently launched Excelerate App is free to download and contains great content for coaches, parents and young performers.