Youth Strength Training?

HPC on

When Is It Safe for Children to Start Strength Training?

“We are urban dwellers stuck in hunter-gatherer bodies…that’s true for children as well as adults. There was a time when children ‘weight trained’ by carrying milk pails and helping around the farm. Now few children, even young athletes, get sufficient activity…If a kid sits in class or in front of a screen for hours and then you throw them out onto the soccer field or basketball court, they don’t have the tissue strength to withstand the forces involved in their sports. That can contribute to injury”

—Dr. Lyle Micheli, MD—New York Times—2010—

A few days ago, The Wall Street Journal published the article; When Is It Safe for Children to Start Strength Training? The author quotes Dr. Benjamin, a professor of orthopedic surgery and pediatrics and the director of primary-care sports medicine at the University of Chicago, for her professional opinion on what strength training is, its risks and benefits for children and adolescents, as well as when it’s safe to add weights.

Dr. B encourages children to learn the basics and good form before adding weight, at the same time however, she discourages children from participating in power lifting, body building or single-repetition lifts of very heavy weights. For the sole purpose of preventing injury, she suggests strengthening the core only with sit-ups or Pilates—no weightlifting necessary until around the age of 12 or after puberty.


 HPC can agree that “any age is a good age. But there does seem to be something special about the time from about age 7 to 12. The nervous system is very plastic. The kids are very eager. It seems to be an ideal time to hard-wire strength gains and movement patterns…A well-structured program can be so much fun that it never occurs to the kids that they’re getting quote-unquote ‘strength training’ at all”

—Dr. Faigenbaum—New York Times—2010—

A recent article, Overcoming Resistance: The Case for Strength Training in Children and Adolescents, offers evidence indicating that children as young as 5-6 years old can also benefit from strength training. Notably, an increase in muscle mass following puberty plays a significant role in developing and improving strength, whereas strength gains among children are driven primarily by neural adaptations (e.g., enhanced motor unit recruitment and synchronization) (Smith, 2017).


SMITH, J. (2017). Overcoming Resistance: The Case for Strength Training in Children and Adolescents. Sport Health, 35(1), 15–18. Retrieved from

Reference retrieved online from

Reference retrieved online from


Neck Pain

This week we want to focus on the MASH – MOBILIZE – MOVE philosophy that we work a lot with in clinic to help people get through certain issues. For issues in the neck—when things are kind of lodged at its base, there are a few strategies that we use that anyone, anywhere, can use so long as they have just a few mobility tools.

The first component is a ball—a tennis ball, a lacrosse ball—if you’ve done a lot of work, something a bit more firm will work best. Begin by putting the ball in the area where you have discomfort—BREATHE. You don’t want to roll on top of the ball, as that will be too intense. Instead, pin down on a tinder area and move through different ranges of motion.

It’s time to stretch and reposition your body into a healing scenario. Grab a foam roller and get in the simple thoracic spine roll position (roller under upper back) to butterfly motion. This helps to stretch everything out. When you’re damaged, your body wants to fall into bad postures that aren’t conducive to healing and we must take charge of the healing process and push things in the right direction.

To help rebuild how you get into the bottom position of a press and extend our spine as well as elongate your arms and shoulders, include the following into your routine.
Push-Up Position • Downward Dog • Transition to Plank • Upward Dog
There are many movements through which a FLOW or a PUSH-UP PATTERN can help to build strength, stability and repositioning anytime you have a neck tweak.

What Dr. J has found with personal experience and through clinical application, is that what takes some people weeks to months to get over, could be much better within a week—it’s even possible to get through this in 2 or 3 days.

You Are Not Powerless — You Can Work With The Tools We’ve Given You

00:00 – HEALTH IN A HEARTBEAT – HPC Core Connection – Neck Pain
00:07 – MASH-MOBILIZE-MOVE Philosophy
00:40 – Dr. J Demonstrates MASH technique
01:35 – Dr. J Demonstrates MOBILIZATION Technique w/ Foam Roller
02:33 – Dr. J Demonstrates & Discusses the Importance of Flow & Push-Up Movement Patterns
03:27 – We Give You The Tools To Improve
03:48 – MASH-MOBILIZE-MOVE & as always, KEEP MOVIN’