Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can Kids Pump Iron?

It's no secret that child obesity is a huge problem in America. Many parents want their kids to exercise, but they are unsure what they can do. Sure, cardio exercise is fine...but what about strength training?

Research confirms that sensible strength training will help children look better, feel better and function better, as well as develop an activity pattern that should serve them well throughout their lives. With their engines revved up, your young charges will be on the right track for a lifetime of activity and good health.

Top 10 Reasons Why Kids Should Strength Train:

- Stronger muscles

- Stronger bones

- Stronger tendons

- Stronger ligaments

- More muscle

- Less fat

- Higher metabolism

- Greater physical capacity

- Greater self-confidence

- Lower injury risk

Here are a few guidelines to help you get started.

Sets: one challenging set of each exercise, which may or may not be preceded by one or two preliminary sets

Repetitions: 10 to 15 repetitions in each exercise set

Frequency: 20-minute training session performed on 2 or 3 nonconsecutive days each week

Progression: a weight increase of 5 percent or less (typically 1 to 5 pounds) once a child can complete 15 repetitions with a given load

Speed: 2 seconds for lifting movements and 2 seconds for lowering movements

Range: full movement range on simple exercises and moderate movement range on complex exercises

Breathing: exhaling during lifting movements, and inhaling during lowering movements

Posture: standing or sitting tall with head up, shoulders square, torso erect and hips level; avoiding twisting, turning and squirming

If you are interested in a kid's strength training program and you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, please contact me.