Should Juniors Lift Weights?

The various benefits of strength training at a young age.
May 9, 2024

It’s a common misconception that lifting weights at a young age could be dangerous, stunt growth, or cause injury. We now know that starting a strength training program at a young age can benefit athletic development and performance. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of a strength training regimen for junior athletes.

Muscular and Neural Adaptations

One of the many benefits of juniors starting a training program is the neural adaptations they will develop; such as learning how to run, jump, cut, and other fundamental movements with proper form and technique. This helps to reduce the risk of injury, enhance athletic performance, and set a foundation to begin making muscular adaptations when going through puberty and beyond. 

Learning Correct Lifting Technique

An underrated benefit of a junior starting a weight lifting program is for them to learn correct lifting mechanics from a young age. This is one of the reasons most high schools have weightlifting classes as a part of their curriculum. Not only does learning lifting mechanics reduce the risk of injury, but it also sets up these young athletes for long-term success. All high schoolers should be lifting weights! (With good technique).

Common Mistakes Juniors Make in The Gym

While weightlifting can be extremely beneficial to juniors, many mistakes can still be made in the gym.

  1. A common mistake young athletes make is trying to lift more weight than they can handle. This drastically increases injury risk, particularly if performing the exercise with inadequate technique. This is why supervision is key.
  2. Another mistake athletes make isn’t necessarily what they do, but more so what they don’t do – I’m referring to stretching and prioritizing mobility. During growth spurts, bones grow at a much faster rate than muscles do. If mobility is neglected, young athletes may begin to develop muscle imbalances, nagging pain/aches, and even experience frequent injuries. Regularly performing mobility exercises will combat these risks and allow these junior athletes to physically prosper. 

In conclusion, the vast majority of young athletes are candidates for some type of supervised strength training program. This will set them up for long-term success by correctly learning the fundamentals of movement patterns and reducing the risk of future injury and pain, extending even into adulthood. To learn more about supervised training programs for juniors, click here to schedule a FREE call with RobertsPT today.

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