Is It Dangerous for School Aged Kids to Strength Train vs NFL Football players? Is it dangerous for a 6-12 year old to strength train? If a young person plays sports just the nature of stop and go change of direction movement patterns in their sport puts more stress on their joints than what would be put on them in a weight room with correct technique. Just the nature of how sports are played Skill and Strength is always on display. One advantage of youth athletes to start lifting is no bad habits in lifting to correct. If Youth has ability to focus learning should be center on the three ways muscles contract eccentric, static, and concentric. Playing a soccer game for 90 min with acceleration and deceleration movement patterns puts more stress on joints of these athletes than a proper taught strength training program with progressive overload.
A big reason for ACL and other joint related injuries is the lack of working on eccentric strength when doing any rep within a set. In many high school weight rooms across country the athlete is not being held accountable A young athlete learning to respect the negative(eccentric) while doing a push-up by using a control yield builds eccentric strength. If he is playing youth league football and being taught how to block using his hands in a ballistic manner doing a hand shiver it would make sense for him to have some time preparing body to play the game by involving strength training first. So many injuries today are from lack of eccentric strength while playing a sport that has repeated deceleration or ballistic action such as sprint activity with change of direction.
Strength and Condition is a must for any age for performance and safety. We should question the program design for the maturity of athlete along with technique of lift being taught instead of waiting for them to get older and then letting them get hurt from the same lack of unity in how they learn to begin with. When I say lack of unity how could you have a Doctor, Physical Therapist, Strength and Condition Coach or Head Coach for any NFL organization be so complacent – when evidence based information on how an injury can occur to the shoulder complex is marginalized and overlooked by a tradition.
Example, NFL recruit, Oregon State Stephen Paea who broke the NFL combine’s 225LB REPS TO FAILURE record. Why would any good trainer, especially an NFL trainer allow this type of bouncing negative? How many of these reps are done with the emphases on yielding on the negative vs. free falling from lockout to chest. How much stress is put on the shoulder complex has nothing to do with the weight of bar compared to the speed of negative. The faster the bar comes down from less motor units turn on the load of bar becomes magnified(becomes heavier).
So a submax lift done loose(increase speed coming down) can cause more damage to players soft tissues because it increases peak loading on shoulder joint than a maximum lift done with a slow control yield with pause. If we have college football players going to combines doing the bench press for 49 reps with 225 lb in a ballistic touch and go fashion what do you think the high school athletes are doing in their high school weight room. The age they start lifting is not the concern compared to what is being taught or allow because the coaches either don’t know what’s better or others that are part of the team in Leadership(Doctors) choose to ignore it until you need them for surgery.
Check out these videos and watch the form to see how bad form like this can and will cause injuries.