Parents' Guide To Youth Strength Training
For years now, adults have been educated by doctors that a strength training program is a essential to their overall health. Yet when to comes to youth fitness, the focus has historically avoided strength training due to fears of injuries and stunting the growth process. We’re here to tell you that strength training is nothing to fear for your kids, as long as it’s done correctly. In fact, building strength the right way will even reduce the risk of injuries for youth athletes.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD MY CHILD START STRENGTH TRAINING?
Research has revealed that even children 8 and younger can reap the benefits of a strength training program, as long as it is done properly and safely.
As a rule of thumb, as long as the kid is mature enough to follow directions and practice proper form, they can begin strength exercises
As youth performance training specialists, we STRONGLY encourage kids to develop fundamental strength patterns to prevent injuries as they hit their growth spurts.
After adolescence is the appropriate time to
introduce “weightlifting” with heavier loads.
“STRENGTH TRAINING” IS DIFFERENT FROM “WEIGHTLIFTING”
Using resistance bands and one’s own body weight are safe ways for kids to get stronger without having to “weightlift.”
Kids should focus on their form rather than the amount they can lift to build strength
“Weightlifting” involves heavy loads that can be too stressful on a child’s growth plates. With that being said, light weightlifting with an experienced trainer/strength coach can still be safe for building strength.
BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING
Protects against sports-related injuries
Improves speed, agility, and sports performance
Reinforces proper body mechanics and movement patterns
Develops body awareness, control, and balance
Creates healthy habits for exercise later in life
Promotes healthy weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels
WHAT ARE APPROPRIATE STRENGTH EXERCISES FOR MY CHILD?
Core/Abs (planks, sit-ups, crunches)
Squats- with correct form only!
Lunges- with correct form only!
*If we had to pick one thing to focus on, it would be building core/abs strength. A strong core will unlock better movement patterns for the rest of the body.