The school holidays is a great time of the year for parents to get their kids improving their health and development with the correct gym routine.
For this reason i am going to go through some quick tips, scientific support and reasons why every child and parent should take full advantage of this time of the year to get a youth development plan started.
1. Resistance training does’nt strictly mean heavy weights. Although weights is one form of resistance most youth programmes would begin with body weight as the resistance and also include flexibility and mobility exercises. This can progress to resistance bands, Medicine balls, unstable surfaces and eventually weughts.
2. Safety. A resistance plan is not only safe for youth but has a number of huge benefits such as:
- Improved movement & motor skills
- Mental & social development
- Facilitates weight control
- Strengthens bones
- Increases resistance to Injuries
3. Scientigic support – The World Health Organisation 2010 – recommend for youth aged 5-17 participation in planned exercise activities which include those that strengthen muscle & bone.
Myth 1 – Minimum age? – A study in 2009 by Faigenbaum & westeoff concluded that children can begin resistance training when they have the emotional maturity to accept and follow instructions or directions. In most cases if a child is ready to play sport then he or sheis ready to resistance train.
Myth 2 – Stunts growth? – In all research carried out in the area of youth resistance training there has been no reports of injury to growth cartilage or anything to suggest that it will negatively impact growth and maturation during childhood and adolescents.
It is however vital that children do not recieve ‘watered down’ adult programmes.
Programmes must be specific to their abilities and stage of development and need to be supervised and designed by a coach who is qualified and experienced so that the child develops adequately and safely.
Part of the training of the child is providing education which helps their decision making when they are away from the coach.