The research on the injury protective benefits of strength training for young athletes

Obviously we're big fans of resistance training for young athletes at NLPT.

But a common concern that we always deal with from parents is the safety and risk factors associated with strength training.

I think the apprehension surrounding resistance training is understandable. All good parents look out for the safety and well being of their children, especially when dropping them off at a gym for the first time. I'd feel the same way.

But I also believe some of the concern with safety comes from images they might have in their minds about what strength training is, and what it looks like. The idea of their 13-year-old son or daughter, red-faced and straining to lift a barbell while their legs quiver and shake under the load, understandably raises a few eyebrows.

But strength training rarely looks like that in practice, even with older, more experienced athletes.

In truth, if done correctly, strength training can be one of the healthiest things a young athlete can do, and there's a growing body of research to support this.

Most scientific studies are mind-numbingly boring to read. And if you don't understand statistics, they can be downright dizzying.

But I wanted to share a study that's a little bit different. It's called a review paper. Instead of it being a single study, it's a paper that reviews and summarizes a variety of studies on a single topic and delivers a consensus. In addition to being a stronger level of evidence (compared with single studies), they're also a little more user-friendly to get through.

The study I'm about to share is titled Resistance Training in Youth: Laying
the Foundation for Injury Prevention
and Physical Literacy
and it was published just this year (2017) in the journal Sports Health.

Although not quite as entertaining as a Stephen King novel, it's relatively simple to get through and provides some good, solid summarizations on a few points in the area of youth strength training including its impact on physical literacy, protective benefits, and current recommendations.

Click the image below to read the full study, and as always, feel free to send any questions our way to

Download paper

NLPT Monthly