Strength training for teenage girls

Research project seeks to build confidence and improve participation in strength training for teenage girls

A new research project led by Dr Anthea Clarke seeks to build confidence and improve participation in strength training for teenage girls.

“Unfortunately, girls have lower participation rates in sport than boys, with many dropping out at around 15 years old. On top of this, traditional societal views have meant that strength training has not been widely promoted to women, especially adolescent girls,” Dr Clarke explains.

“This means that we have limited knowledge of strength-based training for women and girls, despite knowing that appropriate strength training is actually beneficial for all individuals.”

As part of her research, Dr Clarke is seeking girls between 14-16 years old to take part in a new health and fitness program called E.M. Power.

“E.M. Power is an evidence-based program that aims to provide adolescent girls with confidence and support when it comes to participating in strength-based exercise. Participants will train in world class facilities at the La Trobe University Sports Park and Football Victoria's Home of the Matildas.”

“They will also hear from elite female athlete guest speakers and take part in workshops with emerging and leading researchers in the area of female physiology, nutrition, and health.”

Dr Clarke says the program will help girls get started on their strength and conditioning journey and hopefully encourage lifelong engagement in exercise.

“Participants will not only improve their movement patterns and start to develop their overall strength, but longer-term strength training can also help to reduce their future injury risk.”

“The outcomes of this project will inform ongoing development of strength programs targeted specifically for adolescent girls. My hope is that this research will help reduce injury rates amongst girls and women, which will lead to higher female participation rates in sport and exercise.”

Find out more about E.M. Power: