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Junior Sport: Tips and Advice (The Younger Sports Person and Resistance Training)

Resistance or weight-training (not to be confused with the sport of Weight Lifting) can be undertaken by pre-adolescents provided several key criteria are observed.

  • only undertake when injury-free
  • lifting maximal weights must not be the overriding goal because of potential injury
    always undertake a 10 minute general warm-up before a resistance program
  • programs must be properly designed and supervised by a qualified instructor or consult with Southside Physiotherapy
  • correct technique including proper breathing is paramount: poor technique can lead to injury
    light weights to be lifted at all times and undertake slow movements only
  • constant safety checks are to be carried out to ensure equipment quality and correct techniques are practised
  • stretching exercises of all the major muscle groups must be undertaken at the end of the session
  • Recommended website: Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Position Stand (see: Resistance Training for Children and Adolescents National Conference Presentation Dr Greg Wilson PhD.)
  • As an approximate guide to parents who do not have resistance training experience, in order to obtain benefits, it is recommended a maximum of up to eight repetitions, 1-2 sets, twice per week be undertaken for each exercise for younger sports people. If fitting the time in for resistance training is a problem, splitting the exercises into half one day and the other half the next day may be a solution.


  1. warm up and stretch first
  2. don’t lift heavy weights
  3. breathe properly – do not hold your breath
  4. as a guide: undertake eight repetitions and two sets per exercise
  5. cool down after by static stretching

For those training younger sports people, to make weight training a bit more fun, undertake functional/dynamic strength exercises using weighted balls, plates, sand bags. These types of training are a bit more stimulating and keep interest.

Please note: this information should serve as a guide only. When in doubt always seek advice from Southside Physiotherapy & Sport Injury Centre or your GP.

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