Strength training for children - is it safe?

One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether strength training is safe for children. The answer to this question is absolutely yes, when performed properly and under supervision.

A properly performed strength training programme has a multitude of benefits to young people, including:

  • Increasing muscle strength and endurance and strengthening bones

  • Supporting maintenance of a healthy weight

  • Developing proper technique to move well for life

  • Reducing the risk of sports-related injuries

  • Improving performance in sport(s)

  • Promoting healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels

  • Improving confidence, body image and self-esteem

In my experience, there are a handful of key principles that underpin effective programming and delivery when working with younger athletes (if you have a body, you're an athlete...):

  • Emphasising technique with every rep - small class sizes with multiple coaches to support children to develop correct movement patterns

  • Age and developmentally appropriate programming - even in one to one sessions our children primarily learn through games and are having so much fun they haven't realised they are strength training!

  • Warm up and cool down - helping our children understand the importance of preparing and caring for our bodies

  • Focusing on form - focusing on maintaining good form over multiple repetitions instead of the weight lifted

  • Developing all modalities of fitness - challenging all fitness components alongside strength - for example co-ordination, agility and balance

  • Keeping it fun! - varying our sessions to prevent boredom

I love working with young people to develop their strength and functional fitness, both through individual PT and the CrossFit Kids programme at Colchester Fitness Centre.

Get in touch for more info!

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