If a 16 year old child lifts weights, how long does he or she need to recoup before they play a game? Also is it a good practice to lift during the season of the sport the kid or kids play, such as baseball or softball?
Weight lifting is recommended to maintain strength for most sports. It's also ok - and recommended - to lift during softball and baseball season. Weight lifting helps muscles become stronger, helps improve endurance, may help some students focus in the classroom, and can increase the strength of tendons, bones, and joints thus helping prevent injuries. A good article about weight lifting, entitled "Strength Training" from Kidshealth.org, can be accessed at: http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/exercise/strength_training.html. It's geared towards a teenage audience and discusses what weight training is, why it's beneficial, and suggestions for a healthy weight lifting routine.
To address the other part of your question - time
between lifting and competition - this depends on the
individual and how conditioned he or she is. The more
often and more intensely someone lifts, the sooner a
person can recover after lifting. For example, if an
athlete is well-conditioned and used to lifting weights
on a regular basis, lifting on game-day before
competition would be ok. However, for an athlete not
used to lifting and therefore less conditioned, soreness
and fatigue from lifting right before competition might
impair his or her performance. In this case, having a
day or two to recovery after lifting might be necessary.
To summarize: weight lifting can be ok for your kids,
even if it is on game day.
Answered by Stephen D. Ball, Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia and Jessica Kovarik, RD, LD, Extension Associate, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Monday, December 15, 2008