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Adolescents and Exercise

We’ve shared often the many benefits of exercise in the adult population however adolescents also reap many of the same benefits. There is a distinguishing factor between these age groups though….


Normal musculoskeletal development stops approximately between the ages of 17 and 25 years and epiphyseal plates (growth plates) close approximately between 13 and 17 depending on the sex of the child.

While exercise is incredibly beneficial to children and adolescents as they develop it’s crucial for proper measures to be taken to protect their development process in order to reduce their risk for injury while they play on the playground, play sports, compete, etc. It’s crucial to train these people as a developing person rather than an established adult athlete.

A STAGGERING STATISTIC: According to Stanford Medicine more than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger get hurt annually playing sports or participating in recreational activities.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) describes special considerations for children and adolescents as integral for proper skills and mechanics when exercising in order to prevent injury. Read below for further specifics from the ACSM and considering the adolescent and exercise.

• Youth are not simply miniature adults and have specific needs regarding physical activity. Their body systems are growing and developing. Adult exercise and conditioning programs are not appropriate for youth. High stress or continuous repetitive movements should be completed with caution, as this kind of exercise has a potential for injury.

• Provide youth with positive feedback and encourage an active lifestyle.

• Children and youth should be exposed to and encouraged to participate in a variety of physical activities, games and sports.

• Youth should learn the proper skills and exercise techniques from a qualified professional in order to prevent injury.

• Youth have immature thermoregulatory systems and care should be given to make sure they are properly hydrated and exercise in comfortable environments.

• Youth who cannot accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day should over time gradually increase their frequency and duration of activity until they can reach this activity goal.

• Youth with diseases or disabilities should have their activity program tailored to their specific needs.

• Nutritional requirements vary during the growing years and should be adequate for normal growth and maturation and match the energy and nutritional requirements associated with physical activity.

The Studio uses physical therapy techniques and ideals when creating programs for adolescents. If you’re interested in partnering with us for strength and conditioning of your youth group/team email for more details!

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