During the last years, muscle strengthening exercises have been included as an essential part in youth physical activity guidelines of national and international health organisations. It is well-documented that strength training is effective in improving physical fitness and promoting health and psycho-social well-being. Therefore, the purpose of this review article is to present empirical evidence on the effectiveness of strength training in children and adolescents.
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Adolescence is triggered by puberty and corresponds to a time of great changes in many fields including biological, psychological, cognitive and social. Participation to a sport activity improves self-esteem, socialisation with peers and physical condition. Yet, it sometimes is associated with suffering, restrictive behaviours and eating disorders when performed at an intensive level. Intensive sport activity during adolescence should take into account young people’s developmental stages as well as their fundamental needs in order to promote a harmonious training. One way to promote such training is to train parents and medical health providers to recognise these specific developmental needs and take them into account.
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