Given the growing prevalence of youth who are overweight and obese and the associated health-related concerns, the inﬂuence of resistance training on the metabolic health, body composition and injury risk proﬁle of children and adolescents with excess body fat has received increased attention.
Low intensity, long-duration aerobic exercise is typically prescribed for youth who are overweight or obese, but has a number of drawbacks compared to resistance training, says an international consensus of experts in a new position statement published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Loyd RS, et al 2014):
- excess body fat and weight may hinder the performance of physical activities such as jogging.
- Adolescents who are overweight and obese are more than twice as likely to be injured in sports and other physical activities compared with their peers who are not overweight or obese, typically due to a reduced ability to demonstrate and maintain postural stability.
- Youth deemed to be overweight and obese seem to demonstrate signiﬁcantly lower motor coordination than normal weight youth, which is of concern due to the established relationship between motor coordination and levels of physical activity.
"The available evidence indicates that resistance training has the potential to offer observable health value to sedentary youth and young athletes, and such training should always be designed by qualiﬁed professionals to meet the needs of all children and adolescents, regardless of body size or physical ability," the international panel concludes.
Loyd RS, Faigenbaum AD, Stone MH, et al. Position statement on youth resistance training: the 2014 International Consensus. Br J Sports Med 2014;48:498-505. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2013-092952