Coburg Osteopathic Clinic Blog


Why do teenagers need to train strength, stability and mobility

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Why do teenagers need to train Strength, Mobility and Stability?

Teenagers are growing very tall these days, as well as creeping into adult shoes and clothing, we need to acknowledge the consequences of all this growth on their body.  The increase in the use of phones, ipads and laptops has no doubt contributed to terrible posture and an increase and back pain and neck pain.

We have been involved in junior physical development across a variety of sports including; swimming, running, soccer, football, netball, basketball, taekwondo, golf, cricket, dancing and cycling.  We take into account the physical demands of their chosen activity and ensure they have the physical capacity to undertake that activity without causing stress to their body. 

We work closely with coaches and parents to ensure the physical goals are being achieved in order to coincide with technical skills required by the activity.  This is how we reduce the frustration often felt by the teenager and their coach. 

Whenever the body undergoes a growth spurt so many tissues in the body are  involved.  Awareness and centre of gravity is also constantly shifting due to the fact that the nerves, muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments and joints are all adapting to changes.  This is often the cause of why in a couple of weeks a teenager that would normally score consistently, suddenly is missing every shot they take. This is due to the fact that the brain is not keeping up with the growth spurt of the body.

Mobility and flexibility is often the first thing people notice that they lose as they reach puberty.  Touching your toes should not be a thing of the past when you are 13-14 years of age.  This can place excessive strain on the joints and soft tissues of the body and often one of the causes for muscle strains and tears.

We often get asked what age is appropriate to introduce strength training.  It is often assumed that strength training implies heavy weights in the gym which has been linked to stunting growth in teenagers.  It is crucial to know when your teenager’s growth has tapered off.  Strength training is often recommended and suitable, as long as the teenager has the correct foundation for adding load to.  This means being able to move their own body weight well in lots of different positions, efficiently and pain free.  If they cannot achieve this then they should not be lifting weights in the gym. 

Stability is what our body needs to generate power, speed, strength and to hold yourself strong against opponents.  This often depends on the brain being able to fire certain patterns in your body so the message is clear of what you are asking the body to do.

All these components are important for normal, healthy, functioning,  growing bodies.  We at Coburg Osteopathy and Health Services offer treatment and strength and conditioning through exercise physiology to bring out the best in their body and to educate them so they have the tools to self manage niggles that may occur.

We are offering introductory teenage strength and conditioning classes for $15 over the school holidays on Wednesdays 4-5 pm.

These classes are developed by Osteopaths and Exercise Physiologists to target common problems we are seeing in teenagers daily.

Please call reception on (03) 9354 2242 or email info@coburgosteo.com.au if you are interested.