Strength Training Guidelines for Youth Athletes

Strength training for youth athletes is a very safe practice as long as they are taught proper technique and are supervised while performing their workouts. This article gives a list of some basic exercises to train each body part effectively.

Strength TrainingSets: 1 – 3 sets of each depending on the overall goal in mind
Reps: 8 – 12 reps of each
Intensity: do as many as you can to failure which should be between 8 and 12 reps if the weight is chosen correctly
Progression: increasing weight by 5% when you can complete a full 12 reps
Speed: your tempo should be 2 seconds to lift the weight, 4 seconds to put it back down.
Range: use a full range of motion to get the most benefit and a full stretch in the muscle
Frequency: recovery time is important so only train every other day
Breathing: inhale before a lift and when lowering it, exhale while lifting weight
Sequence: strength training should involve larger muscles and compound movements first, smaller muscles and isolation exercises last. A recommended order would be:

  • Hips
  • Legs
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Arms
  • Midsection
  • Lower back
  • Sides
  • Neck


Strength Training1Triceps: bar dips, bench press, barbell triceps extension (standing and reclining)
Biceps: barbell and dumbbell curls
Forearms: wrist roll, wrist curl (and reverse curl)
Front shoulder (anterior and middle deltoid) – dumbbell front raise, bench press, behind neck military press
Rear shoulder: bent-over row
Upper back: upright row, shoulder shrug
Back: upright barbell row, bent-over dumbbell row
Lower back: back extensions, straight-leg deadlift
Buttocks: barbell squat, dumbbell lunge
Abdominals: bent knee situps
Hamstrings: barbell squat
Quads: barbell squat, dumbbell lunge
Shins: toe raises
Calves: standing and seated calf raise

Youth athletes new to strength training should start with a light weight you are sure you can do and progress slowly to avoid injuries and becoming too sore when first starting out.

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About Author

jockedJacques Delorme has coached for more than 25 years at all age levels and is a certified coach in five sports with a strong background in nutrition. He is the founder of this site. Would you like to be a GUEST AUTHOR? Let me know using the CONTACT FORM. Trying to gain muscle but do not want to gain fat in the process? Here is how I do it! – Click Here

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