Strength training for Children by Keiron Vorster, from fit8
Children and adolescents have traditionally been encouraged to participate in aerobic activities such as swimming running and cycling, an enormous amount of evidence indicates that strength training can be a safe and effective method of exercise for kids provided that the appropriate and stringent guidelines are followed. The qualified acceptance of youth strength training by medical and fitness organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the National Strength and Conditioning Association is becoming universal, and nowadays comprehensive school-based programs are specifically designed to enhanced health-related fitness components, which include muscular strength and muscular endurance.
By definition, the term strength training refers to ‘a specialized method of physical conditioning that involves the progressive use of a wide range of resistive loads and a variety of training modes designed to enhance or maintain muscular fitness.’
Although it is commonplace for boys and girls to strength train in schools, recreation centers and sports camps to enhance their health, fitness and athletic performance, concerns about the safety and efficiency of youth strength training still persist. Furthermore, coaches, teachers and parents are often asked if the potential benefits of youth resistance training outweigh the risks. The correct answers to these questions are often obscured by the myths surrounding strength exercise.
Next week…. common myths associated with youth strength training.