Can my child benefit from resistance training?

Absolutely! If performed properly, resistance training offers many bonuses for children. Below are just a few of the many benefits:

  • Increases your child’s muscle strength and endurance
  • Enhance sports performance
  • Strengthen bones
  • Boost their metabolism
  • Help maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve self esteem
Resistance training is both safe and very effective for children. It has been a common perception in the past that children should not perform resistance training. However, it has been shown through research that resistance training cannot only help reduce the growing problem of childhood obesity, but it can also help to decrease the chance of injury in children who become involved with sports. The intensities should be age appropriate, monitored by an adult and the focus should be on improving postural control and stabilization. Body weight exercises or using resistance (weight) that is between 40%-70% of an estimated 1 repetition maximum for the child is appropriate. By teaching youth the importance and advantages of health and fitness at early ages, it is possible to have a positive impact on the obesity epidemic which is sweeping across the world. Resistance training in youth can also improve self esteem and social aspects of life which can contribute to better focus in education.
Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Research shows that resistance training is safe, effective, and necessary for kids. Resistance training can increase the strength of a childs muscles, bones, and connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, fascia, etc), decrease injury, and improve athletic performance. 

Keys to resistance training with youth:
1. Supervision
2. Age appropriate exercise
3. Appropriate intensity
4. Teach proper posture and execution of exercises
5. Teach the importance and benefits of lifetime health and fitness
6. Make it fun

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.