Using Strength Training for Children
What many sports medicine professionals realize that parents do not is that strength training can do so much more for your child than simply giving them muscle mass. Important in helping to ward off injuries as well as building overall strength a proper strength training program can benefit your child both in long term and short term goals.
From the very first athletic attempt your child has, to the very last having the strength necessary to execute the sport effectively is one of their single most important needs. Ensuring the proper strength levels can be beneficial in both normal life, as well as the athletic field and provides a great way to children to help avoid injury as well as create healthy strength habits for life. While the exact type of strength training varies from child to child, the far reaching benefits are attainable to everyone.
Regardless of whether your child is playing soccer, basketball, football, or even running track or swimming having the proper muscle strength necessary can often help avoid overuse injuries that are so prevalent amongst young children. Forcing the muscles to strengthen up allows the muscles to work harder before an injury occurs. Experts have all agreed the children as young as six can safely work on strength training when closely monitored by an adult.
The ability to start strength training at such a young age helps to ensure that while children are busy learning about sports, they are also able to embrace the benefits of proper safety precautions rather than merely learning how to treat injuries. While not all children become huge fans of strength training it is still a wise idea to teach it.
Overall, it is very important for the adults involved in strength training to closely monitor the child. The sports medicine doctor working together with a fitness coach can usually advise about the correct amount of time as well as repetitions for each exercise to ensure that the maximum benefits are achieved, without potentially causing the child injury.
It is vital to also ensure that your child understands exactly what is expected of them. While the idea of allowing a young child to life weights may not seem appealing to many, it is something that does appeal to others. However, setting limits to the amount lifted, as well as how long is very important to ensure that the child is not injured in any way.
Parents can also work with children and a fitness coach to work out the best strength routine for them based upon age, sports, and body type. It is important to only allow a child to engage in strength training with proper supervision both by a doctor and by a knowledgeable trainer. Your child’s doctor should be aware that strength training is going to be occurring before your child starts so that a through check up can be conducted to ensure that your child is well enough to handle the rigors of strength training.
Other considerations that are very important is the equipment that your child uses. Most sports medicine professionals can agree that while a child is encouraged to engage in strength training they should almost always avoid using the same equipment as adults. Instead, it is vital that children engage in exercises and training that is designed for their smaller bodies. Most children are not big enough to safely use the adult sized equipment. It is essential that you find a gym that can accommodate your child has needs, or consider purchasing small sets of weights for your home.
With proper precautions, and careful supervision strength training for children can reduce the number of injuries, increase strength, improve endurance and provide excellent health benefits overall. By focusing on age appropriate exercises and ensuring that your child is properly supervised you can be assured that you are helping your child develop into the strongest possible, while fighting off injuries and other problems.