Over the last few years, the strength training methodology for children and teenagers has been the subject of several scientific articles, clarifying some wrong assumptions about strength training.
The concern that strength training could cause deformities in children's bone growth has not been proven. Recent research does not support this belief, on the contrary, it has evidenced innumerable benefits that prove its introduction in the exercise program for children and teenagers.
The application of this well-planned and supervised methodology can play a significant role in health, well-being and physical aptitude, contributing to the integral development of children and teenagers. In this sense, the school environment plays a very important role in the development of this capacity.
It is essential to understand that regular exercise since childhood is fundamental to reduce the sedentary lifestyle that occurs in young people. Parents / family members should be aware of the benefits that sports and exercise have on their children's lives.
According to the GDH (General Direction of Health), children and teenagers should practice at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. This should include, at least 3 times a week, 20 to 30 minutes of activities such as running, climbing, jumping or other activities that require the musculoskeletal system to improve muscle strength, flexibility and bone strength.
Key benefits of strength training in children and teenagers:
- Strengthening of the bone system
- Improvement of the body composition (decrease in fat mass)
- Increased muscle strength and endurance
- Improvement of cardiorespiratory capacity
- Injury prevention
Strength Training recommendations for children and teenagers:
The training program must be adapted to their characteristics as regards the processes of development, growth and maturation.
For this one must take into account 3 factors:
• Objectives of strength training in different age groups
• Frequency and duration of strength training
• Types of strength exercises used in the training program
In order for children / teenagers to get the most out of the benefits of strength training, they must be accompanied by a personal trainer or coach who can plan and follow the training process based on the specificity and need of each student.
By Daniel Almeida, Personal Trainer at Bodylab Academy