Kids Can Strength Train & It Won’t Stunt Their Growth!

It is essential we teach our kids the importance of being active. Here at The Yummy Mummy Club we show your kids how to be healthy by encouraging you to bring the little ones along to your workout. When it comes to exercise for your children, how much they need will depend on many factors such as their physical ability and age.

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Should kids be participating in weight training?

It has been suggested that pre-pubescent children should not engage in weight-training activities. This is true to an extent. As heavy weight training can cause epiphyseal fusion; pre-mature bone fusion. The bones of a pre-pubescent kid are not ready to fuse, hormonally they are not physiologically ready either. However, saying this, we need to consider that this is probably only true if children are exposed to the same high-intensity weight- training programs that we as adults are engaging in.

The goals of a pre-pubescent child, compared to an adult in training will differ dramatically and we believe the focus should rather be on strength training, rather than weight training.

Here is an age guide to exercise and strength training for kids.

Ages 2-4: Make sure the exercises are simple and enjoyable. When a kid is at this age, they are still learning their basic and fundamental motor skills. Their coordination is something that may not be coherent just yet. Strength training should not be introduced just yet.

Ages 5-12: We can start to introduce strength training, but keep it simple! Their motor skills and coordination are developed, you can focus on agility and endurance. At this age strength training should only be part of a child’s exercise regime; they should be encouraged to take part in team sports and other activities. Strength training exercises could include basic body weight exercises such as lunges, squats and push ups.

Ages 13-20: At this stage, exercising on a regular basis becomes more important, so to keep kids interested, it is important that exercise helps improves a kids self-esteem, has a social aspect, but at the same time is also challenging. More advanced strength training can be appropriate here. Though it is best to ensure they are under the guidance of a fitness professional.

Before allowing your kids to partake in an activity, here are some points to consider:

◾Strength training needs to be age-appropriate.

◾Children need to be mature enough to respond to instruction and coaching advice.

◾Children need to be supervised at all times during their strength-training sessions to conform with proper form and technique.

Disclaimer: Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss. Consult with your health care processional before beginning any diet or exercise regime.

Tammy Kacev
Nutrition Expert

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