STRENGTH TRAINING IN CHILDREN AFFECTS ACTIVATION NOT STRUCTURE
Ozmun, J. C., Mikesky, A. E., & Surburg, P. R. (1994). Neuromuscular adaptations following prepubescent strength training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26, 510-514.
Prepubescent children (M = 8, F = 8; average age 10.3 yr) were divided into two groups with the experimental group training for eight weeks on a resistance training program (3 x 7-11 reps; 3 times per week). A biceps curl was performed.
Improvements in isotonic (22.6%) and isokinetic (27.8%) performances were observed. No changes occurred in controls. No structural differences were evidenced between the group.
Early gains in muscular strength in children were suggested as being due to increased muscle activation.
Implication. Strength changes in children will result from their learning to do exercises and increasing muscle activation as exercise-skill is acquired. Structural changes, such as hypertrophy, should not be expected.
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