So, you thought that strength training was just for grown-ups? Believe it or not, supervised strength training is good for children and aids their growth and development.
Ever wonder why a kid needs to build strength consciously? Like others, you probably assume that children develop strength develops naturally, as a consequence of growth.
But the truth is that this natural process can be enhanced in kids who are aged 6 and above, through strength training. Regular exercises for this purpose are useful for those aspiring to play sports like soccer, gymnastics or cricket, for example.
Many ways to build strength
Strength training is not just about bulking up, and not the same as weight lifting or power lifting. In fact, you can build strength in many ways: using free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or body weight exercises that build muscles.
Many adults use one or a mix of these methods: men to build a six pack or biceps, and women for muscle definition. When it comes to children, a supervised strength training programme is the best bet.
Children’s training protocol is unique
Kids strength training programmes shouldn’t be a scaled-down version of the adult programme. Instead, they should be planned well, by a trainer knowledgeable about strength training protocol for kids.
Several precautions must be observed by children doing strength training. It’s important to remember that kids must tone their muscles with more repetitions, and less weight.
Training is best done on consecutive days, with a focus on form and technique. And proper diet and nutrition are essential.
Begin with body weight training
Initially, body weight training is recommended for kids. Push-ups, burpees and sit ups are a good start. Once children gain confidence with this routine, exercises that include small weights may be added on.
With older children, resistance can be gradually increased, eventually becoming a part of their routines.
Benefits of a regular routine
#1 Increases muscle strength and endurance.
#2 Enhances a child’s performance levels in any sport.
#3 Protects children from sports-related injuries to the bones, joints and muscles while strengthening bones and ligaments.
#4 Develops proper techniques that may be used once kids become adults.
#5 Helps maintain healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
#6 Improves confidence and self-esteem.
#7 Infuses fun into exercise, and improves both concentration levels and academic performance.