Weight lifting also known as resistance training amidst adult has been the trends for some years now.
What’s strange however is the new culture of kids getting involved as well. I’ve seen several pictures of very young weight lifters on instagram. These kids are not training to be a professional weight lifter, but rather doing so as part of their regular exercise routine.
I decided to look into the trend of kids lifting weights and incorporating strength training into their regular workout routine, checked the benefits, and the disadvantages as well, I have also looked into medical and science research to support the claims. This article is a detailed report of my findings. And hopefully, it would help you decide whether you should encourage your kids to get into strength exercise (resistance training) or not.
First, let’s explore why many people (both professional and regular people) would consider weight lifting as part of the routine workout procedure. The first thing that comes to mind is muscle development.
The muscle is one of the major tissue components in the body; it is made up of protein amidst other components. When the muscle is stressed; this is mostly done through rigorous exercise, the demand of that specific muscle for nutrient increases. When enough food (protein rich food) is consumed, the muscle would commence a recovery stage, which would eventually result into an increased or enlarged muscle mass.
That’s the basic ideology behind exercising the muscle. Others go into weight lifting for strength training as well as muscle toning.
This has been the subject of debate amidst specialist. The idea that pre-teens should get into resistance/strength training may sound ridiculous to a regular person. But expert on the subject matter (Sport Doctors as well as pediatrics) belief that there is nothing wrong in getting started as early as 7 or 8 years of age.
Developing a strength training program that does not involve the traditional weight lifting routine is the best way to approach resistance training for pre-teens. While kids above the age of 13 with reasonable amount of muscle mass and some level of androgen hormone can get on to lifting lightweight under the supervision of a certified coach or parent.
Heavy weight lifting for kids would end up causing more physical and hormonal harm to the child than any other perceived benefits.
This means, modesty is the key to getting a good result when training kids for strength.
There is a hormone called androgen which is secreted in the body system. This androgen hormone is the body’s version of natural steroid. What it does is to increase muscle growth. The hormone is generally not secreted until the commencement of puberty. What this means is that, even though pre-teens can get started with resistance and weigh training, they will not get a large muscle mass like you would expect in an adult. But the other benefits of strength training would come along with the effort.
BENEFITS OF RESISTANCE/STRENGTH TRAINING FOR KIDS:
Muscle Strength and Endurance: This is obviously one of the main goals as far as strength training is concerned. The aim is to increase the amount of stress the muscle can accommodate. Improved muscle strength comes in handy for kids that are into one sport activity or the other.
Improved Sport Performance: In corroboration of the point mentioned above. It’s been observed that kids who engage in strength training experience improved performance in their choice sport.
- Better Cardio Respiratiory Function
- Stronger Bones
- Prevention of Strain and muscle tears
- Improved Exercise Habit
- Self Confidence
- Low Blood Cholestrol Level
- Well Built Body Posture
- Good nutrition habit