Strength Training For Junior Golf
Much debate has occurred about kids and strength training. There's been concern about growth plate damage. There's been discussion of whether it increases their likelihood of future success or simply places them at increased stress both physically and mentally. Here's a few notes on the correct way to have a junior golfer build a strong, healthy body. First there are definite differences between adolescent boys and adolescent girls with respect to strength and strength production. In boys, absolute muscular strength (the greatest amount of force an individual can produce) grows consistently between the ages of 7 - 19. In girls, strength gains are incurred on a consistent level until about the age of 15, when a period of stagnation occurs and strength gains plateau, and in fact begins to fall. By the end of the pubescent ages, boys are roughly 50% stronger than girls.
As your child begin a golf training program make sure proper instruction on exercise form is given. Adults can provide instruction and supervision to enforce safety and good technique. You can also consider hiring a trained professional to demonstrate proper form and safety measures. Most gyms have a junior program where they offer proper lifting techniques and protocols.
Golf training programs for juniors should emphasize the principles of lifetime fitness and proper exercise form so they receive maximum benefits from exercise while minimizing any risks. Adults who design training programs for their children should provide an environment centered on enjoyment, positive reinforcement and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Young golfers are not seeking to become bodybuilders. They should be trained to become strength builders. Junior golfers should start with body weight exercises that place an emphasis on many muscle groups and movement that mimics real life movements.
Junior golfers should begin each session with a short warm up of roughly 10 minutes. Jogging in place and jumping jacks are good warm up exercises. The workout session should end with light stretching. Don't overwork the muscles. Two or three sessions per week are adequate to improve strength, and endurance.
Monitoring the progress will give you a quick snapshot of what you've done and how best to progress from there. It's important to keep in mind for the junior golfer to add variety, consistency and fun to their workout sessions. Once something becomes a chore or is boring, interest is lost. Trying new exercises, working indoors and out, and not repeating the same process over and over will help keep the junior golfer dedicated to strength training.