There is strong evidence from research in a number of sports that tells us that commencing a resistance based training exercise program in adolescence, or even earlier, is protective for injury if implemented in a supervised environment and tailored to the current ability of the athlete & needs of the sport.
What does this mean for the pathway or school rower?
A developing rower may benefit from strength & conditioning as part of their individualised training program following an assessment of their current health and injury issues, their energy intake, growth rate, overall training load, flexibility and movement control.
Following consideration of these individual modifiers, coaches should ensure the athlete has flexibility then movement control and then add weight to minimise the risk of injury.
Faigenbaum AD, Lloyd RS, MacDonald J,et al. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:3–7.