The young athlete in your family is disciplined and devoted, squeezing in practice whenever he or she can. Now your child wants to start strength training. You’ve heard coaches and other parents talk about strength training, but you wonder… Is strength training really good for a child?
The answer is yes, weight Training is beneficial for kids when done correctly.
Strength training exercises that are supervised, safe and age-appropriate offer many bonuses to young athletes.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association all support strength training for kids…if it’s done properly. Today’s children are increasingly overweight and out of shape. Strength training combined with good nutrition can help put them on the lifetime path to better health and fitness.
Strength training…not weightlifting as a sport or competition.
Strength training for kids…not to be confused with weightlifting, bodybuilding or powerlifting – is a carefully designed program of exercises to increase muscle strength and endurance. Weightlifting, bodybuilding and powerlifting are largely driven by competition, with participants vying to lift heavier weights or build bigger muscles than other athletes. This can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons and growth plates, especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight.
Strength training for kids, however, isn’t about lifting the heaviest weight possible. Instead, the focus is on lighter weights and controlled movements, with a special emphasis on proper technique and safety.
Your child can build muscle strength using:
* Free weights
* Weight machines
* Resistance bands
* His or her own body weight