Kids and Strength Training
With our kids Strength and Conditioning classes starting this week, we wanted to post a little article about the benefits of getting your children started in some type of conditioning program at a young age. Years ago, there were a lot of misconceptions about kids and Strength conditioning. It was rumored to be bad for growth and bones, but these have been extensively proven wrong now by the Mayo Clinic, the CDC, and many other prestigious medical schools. The uniform opinion now is that supervised strength training is a great addition to any child’s sporting programs. We can’t wait to get started with your kids this summer. The following is an article from the Mayo Clinic website.
What Is Strength Training?
Strength training is the practice of using free weights, weight machines, and rubber resistance bands, or body weight to build muscles. With resistance the muscles have to work harder to move. When the muscles work harder, they grow stronger and more efficient.
What Are the Benefits of Strength Training?
Strength training can help kids and teens build healthy muscles, joints, and bones. With a properly designed and supervised program, they can improve endurance, total fitness level, and sports performance. Strength training can even help prevent injuries and speed up recovery.
Strength training can also help fortify the ligaments and tendons that support the muscles and bones and improve bone density, which is the amount of calcium and minerals in the bone. And the benefits may go beyond physical health. Young athletes may feel better about themselves as they get stronger.
Who Can Do Strength Training?
Kids and teens who are ready to participate in organized sports or activities such as baseball, soccer, or gymnastics usually can safely to start strength training.
A child’s strength-training program shouldn’t just be a scaled-down version of an adult’s weight training regimen. A trainer who has experience in working with kids should design a program for your child and show your child the proper techniques, safety precautions, and how to properly use the equipment.
Kids as young as 7 or 8 years old can usually do strength-training activities (such as pushups and sit-ups) as long as they show some interest, can perform the exercises safely, and follow instructions. These exercises can help kids build a sense of balance, control, and awareness of their bodies.
Specific exercises should be learned without resistance. When proper technique is mastered, small amounts of resistance (body weight, band, or weight) can be added. In general as kids get older and stronger, they can gradually increase the amount of resistance they use. A trained professional can help your child determine what the appropriate weight may be.