We all agree that it is important to keep our kids healthy and active, but when it comes to strength training, many people aren’t so sure. And, honestly, we’ve often been told wrong. To get to the truth, let’s identify some of those myths that we have all heard.
Myth 1: Strength training can stunt a child’s growth.
Truth: When guidelines are followed and you pay attention to proper technique, strength training is proven to actually strengthen bones and increase bone density, according to a study done by the Mayo Clinic.
Myth 2: Strength training is unsafe for kids.
Truth: According to Dr. Daniel Drury at Gettysburg College, “physiologically your muscles don’t know the differences between the resistance provided by strength training or the resistance provided by vigorous work or play.” Strength training, therefore, poses no greater risks than any other child activity. In fact, strength training can help to protect your child’s muscles and joints from other sports injuries.
Myth 3: Strength training is only for youth athletes.
Truth: It is true that strength training can enhance sports performance, but there are many benefits for children of all types, whether they are involved in sports or not. It is shown that athletes and non-athletes alike receive the same benefits from a strength training program.
The only limitation offered up by the American Academy of Pediatrics in regards to kids and strength training is that repetitive maximum lifts should be avoided. It is also recommended that children do not begin strength training until the age of 7 or 8, when they are more aware and able to control and balance their bodies.
Bottom line, strength training in kids offer up so many more benefits than risks. In addition to those already mentioned, some other benefits include of strength training are that it helps maintain/promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, helps maintain a healthy weight and improves self-confidence and self-esteem.
Let me be clear, strength training includes any type of resistance training, from resistance bands, to body weight to weights. At our Forge-RX Juniors class, we do a little bit of them all. And most importantly, the kids have a blast doing it! Bring your child (aged 8 or older) to check it out one Friday night! Class is at 5:30-6:30.