PT on the Net Research

Teenagers: Guidelines on Strength and Flexibility Training


Question:

Can you tell me where I might information on strength and flexibility training for a teenager who has been through physical therapy and has been cleared by her physician for training?

Answer:

First, make sure you follow any guidelines and recommendations from your client's medical team. Also, perform a search of the Content Library under keyword "Flexibility Training." 

I always encourage trainers to remember that just because there is tension in a muscle, that does not mean that it is "short." Short refers to the fibers being shorter than they are supposed to be, contributing to a range of motion at the joint that is less than normal. For example, the upper middle back muscles are many times overstretched although they feel tight (because of being overstretched and eccentrically loaded due to poor posture), but they don't need stretching.

Children and adolescents need to do integrated and functional training, moving the body in all planes and directions to develop the motor patterns "normal" to the human body. That is, don't do only one type of training over and over again with the kids.

Resources:

  1. NSCA textbook: Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning.
  2. Current edition of Science of Flexibility by Michael J. Alter
  3. Kendall's Muscles: Testing and Function