Resistance Training for Children, What You Should Know

Posted: October 7, 2012 in Articles, Golf, Tip of the Week

Over the past thirty years there has been a great deal of debate as to whether resistance training is an appropriate form of exercise for children and teenagers.  Most concerns with resistance training for children (teens are also grouped in the category of children) have centered on the perceived possible damage that might occur to the child’s body.  While many people could see the benefits of children using resistance training as a mode of exercise, many parents and health practitioners felt the dangers of resistance training outweighed the benefits.  Amongst many, the biggest concern society had with resistance training for children in regards to safety was damage to the child’s growth plate.  However, over the past fifteen years or so insurmountable research has been done concerning the safety of resistance training.  Nearly all of this research has been deemed resistance training a beneficial and safe avenue for child exercise.  So… here is what you need to know about it!

Resistance training is a very effective form of exercise for children.  Resistance training can help improve a child’s motor skills, body composition, self-esteem, strength and athletic performance.  At a time when society has placed a huge concern on obesity and children are leading sedentary lifestyles, resistance training is a very beneficial form of exercise that can help reduce obesity and improve cardiovascular health.  Resistance training has been shown to enhance children’s mood and give children a better perception of self.  Also, when a child’s exercise program is designed properly, it can aid children in learning proper body movements, enhancing their motor skills, thus improving their sport performance.

Most importantly, resistance training for children IS SAFE!  In fact, it is a safer form of exercise than participation in youth athletics.  More injuries occur to the growth plate in both contact and non contact sports than resistance training activities, especially when the resistance training programs are designed and observed properly. Further more, resistance training programs for children can help prevent injuries!

Most injuries related to childhood resistance training occur when children workout at home unsupervised.  Often times the biggest culprit of injury in these circumstances occurs when children drop weights and other equipment.  Resistance training programs for children become even safer when the ratio of supervision to participants is lower and exercises are functional in nature.  Those designing a resistance program for children should have either a degree or certification in fitness and a firm understanding of the cognitive, emotional and physical needs of children.  Also, a childhood resistance training program should focus more on learning the proper performance of exercises and increasing repetitions as opposed to increasing the weight or the amount of resistance.

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