14 Sep What Age Should Female Athletes Start Strength Training?
I’m going to get right to it today: youth female athletes should resistance train as soon as possible.
Resistance training is the act of loading the body with force, whether it is body weight or with dumbbells, barbells or other modalities that stimulate muscular endurance and strength.
Even for elementary school girls, it’s paramount they move as much as possible, and “load” with resistance training in nature:
– Jumping the trees
– Climbing trees
– Stepping up stairs
– Sprinting after the dog
– Hanging from the monkey bars
– Jumping rope
– Leaping on the rocks in the creek
The more variety, the better.
Resistance training for the young ones doesn’t have to be a formal program. Instead it can be them loading their muscles in the beautiful outdoors and enjoying family time.Resistance training for the young ones doesn't have to be a formal program. Instead it can be them loading their muscles in the beautiful outdoors and enjoying family time. Click To Tweet
This isn’t to say elementary school girls should not do a formal program. If they are in 5th grade and emotionally ready and pumped about resistance training, I encourage them to start learning with a professional.
Changes in the youth female athlete body occur as young as 5th grade, when their bones and muscles begin to grow rapidly. The bones will lengthen before the muscles, which can lead to joint pain in the ankles and knees. This is all the more reason to ensure young girls are moving in a way that bolsters their balance, coordination, mobility, stability and muscular endurance.
The earlier the start of quality movement the better.
Think of movement as a compounding piggy bank – the more young girls learn resistance training young,
the greater the return on investment when they’re older and they will reap serious strength, speed and power gains.
When in high school and they have years of mastering the movement patterns under their belts, then it’s much easier for them to advance to more complex drills, like heavier lifts, power training and technical plyometrics to reduce chance of injury.
For more specific programs and resources on female athlete development…
Sample off-season + in-season
Fun speed and agility games
Strength Training Video Demos
Sample Strength Circuits for Kids
GET IT HERE
For coaches of youth female athletes who need help with:
Coaching change of direction
Building their girls with strength training
Knowledge on growth and maturation
FULL 15 Module video course, 4 Zoom calls with Erica + FB community access with purchase of course HERE