Pediatric Physical Therapy published research on the longitudinal trajectories of lower extremity strength across maturational stages for a group of female student athletes. Recent studies have indicated growth during adolescences without strengthening the muscles may results in the development of risk factors for patellofemoral pain and anterior cruciate ligament injuries. The study looked at knee flexion, knee extension, and hip abduction strength in 39 female athletes over three years.
The results indicated that knee
extension strength increased while hip abduction and
hamstrings-to-quadriceps ratio strength decreased from prepubertal to
The researchers concluded that preadolescence is an
optimal time to institute strength training programs aimed toward injury
Reference: Quatman-Yates, Catherine C et al. A Longitudinal Evaluation of Maturational Effects on Lower Extremity Strength in Female Adolescent Athletes. Pediatric Physical Therapy. Fall 2013 - Volume 25 - Issue 3.