Children and Strength Training
If supervised by a well trained and certified instructor, strength training can be an important part of your child's fitness routine. Strength training or weight training exercises can lead to an increase in muscle mass. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, by increasing your child's muscle mass, it can make it easier for him to lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight.
However, children and adolescents should avoid the practice of weight lifting, power lifting, and body building, as well as the repetitive use of maximal amounts of weight in strength training programs, until they have reached developmental maturity. This usually occurs at around age 15. Younger children, if well supervised, can perform less strenuous strength training exercises, especially if they do not lift heavy or maximal weights.
Strength training exercises can be done after the cooling down period or on alternate days from their regular exercises and they can include:
- leg lifts
- knee bends
- heel raises
- arm curls with free weights
- other exercises that involve lifting weights, either free weights or by using weight machines