Teenagers and Strength Training " Emma is a 12-year-old figure skater who skates "

Case study ( 5091 views as of June 19, 2024 )

Emma is a 12-year-old figure skater who skates in the competitive stream 3-4 times a week. She has recently joined the Development Team at her skating club. After a few sessions with the Development Team involving weights and strength training, her mother has some concerns about the exercise classes the team is running, and decides to take Emma to speak with their paediatrician.

On examination, Emma is in the 90th percentile for height, with a slight frame weighing 68 lbs. The paediatrician reviews Emma's medical history and she has no injuries of note on record. She is currently taking 3mg of over-the-counter melatonin several times a week to help her fall asleep on school nights. She is otherwise healthy. The paediatrician recommends Emma and her mother consult with a qualified exercise specialist to review the safety of strength training for her age.

The exercise specialist is able to spend time with Emma and her mother reviewing the concepts of strength training, and addresses their concerns that Emma is too young to be lifting weights. Emma is shown how to maintain good posture when performing the core exercises, and a thorough review of stretching is provided by the exercise specialist.

Emma's mother could also consider consulting with a dietitian to ensure Emma has a well-balanced diet given her age and activity level, and a sleep specialist to assess her sleeping challenges. Yoga classes may help with relaxation to improve her sleep, as well as increase her flexibility. Finally, a consultation with a sports psychologist may benefit Emma as she prepares for the competitive season ahead.


Conversation based on: Teenagers and Strength Training " Emma is a 12-year-old figure skater who skates "

Teenagers and Strength Training " Emma is a 12-year-old figure skater who skates "

  • I wouldn't have thought that strength training would have been a concern for a 12 year old competitive athlete. My daughter does recreational gymnastics and they have suggested some light strength training to help with harder exercises
    • If the child is being watched by the trainers then I would not have thought weight training would be an issue. The greater issue here is the sleep issues. Why is Emma having issues falling asleep ? Why does she have to take medication to do so ? Seeing a sleep specialist may help give information on this situation.
    • My understanding is that that strength training can be beneficial in these cases as long as maximal lifts are avoided, in order to protect growth plates in bone that are still developing. Particularly in young girls, who are at higher risk for osteoporosis later in life, moderate strength training can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of injury during sport. Perhaps an expert can comment?
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