Strength training exercises involve engaging the muscles to work through resistance, thus, making them work harder than usual and boosting overall strength. Strength training exercises can be performed at any age and bring many benefits — especially when started from a young age.
Recent studies have shown that children engaging in strength training exercises can improve their muscle strength without increasing the risk of injury when compared to other types of sports.
These exercises should not be confused with bodybuilding or weightlifting. Instead, exercises such as squats and lunges are perfect examples of strength training exercises that use no equipment.
Benefits of Strength Training Exercises for Children
The period of adolescence is one of the most important times to improve body awareness, control and overall balance. Strength training will only foster these skills and improve overall health.
When done with care and under expert guidance, strength training can benefit children in the following ways:
- Improve endurance and maximize performance while playing sports
- Build strong muscles
- Enhance protection for muscles and joints that result from injuries
- Develop control and proper techniques for carrying out various activities
- Strengthen your child’s bones
- Promote a healthy heart and keep cholesterol under check
- Maintain a good and healthy weight
- Boost self-confidence and self-esteem
- Increase overall fitness and promote health and well-being
There are many concerns about engaging children in strength training activities due to possible risks of injury and early damage. However, as mentioned above, strength training can be done without equipment, using bodyweight exercises, or by using light free weights for movements and rep schemes that are different from bodybuilding workouts.
If your child has started playing sports and is around age 7, then they are ready to practice a little strength training.
Research finds that children should engage in strength training exercises at least two to three times a week, and they are safe to do so.
Tips for Safe Training
Safety is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to your kids. Follow these tips for a safe workout routine for kids.
- Begin with one set of 8 to 15 reps of 6 to 8 different exercises that work on strengthening the upper body, lower body and core muscles.
- Strength training exercises should always be performed under the guidance of an expert trainer.
- Warm-up and cool down sessions are extremely important to prepare the muscles and the mind for the upcoming workout.
- Workouts should be kept light.
- Start slowly and establish control before moving on to harder exercises.
- Technique and form are extremely important in order to avoid injuries. The amount of weight is the least important. Your child should start with light weights and build on his or her form before increasing the weights.
- Allow rest and recovery periods between workouts.
- Keep it light and engaging so your child enjoys their workouts, rather than it becoming a chore.
The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
When can your kids start strength training? (2018, January 26). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/strength-training/art-20047758
Gavin, M. L. (Ed.). (2013, August). Strength Training. Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/strength-training.html