Introducing resistance training to young athletes has been gaining popularity recently. Resistance training focuses on improving athletic performance by straining and strengthening muscles through weight lifting and other similar exercises. While some parents are understandably worried about starting their young athletes in such exercises too early in life, they can rest assured that as long as the proper steps are taken, resistance training can be beneficial to the athleticism of their children.
Experts recommend that a resistance training program:
- Is relatively safe for youth.
- Can increase the muscular strength and power of youth.
- Can improve the cardiovascular risk profile of youth.
- Can improve motor skill performance and may contribute to enhanced sports performance of youth.
- Can increase a young athlete’s resistance to sports-related injuries.
- Can help improve psychosocial well-being of youth
- Can help and promote exercise habits during childhood and adolescence.
Following these steps can ensure that young athletes are safe and don’t overstrain themselves, which is of prime importance. It can also make sure that an athlete doesn’t burn out too quickly, as too much added training on top of normal practices can cause an athlete to grow weary of a sport or training. As long as the child understands that the training is for their benefit, and as such is dependent on their willingness to participate, resistance training can be good both for an athlete’s health and mindset, since they understand they are the one in control.
While there isn’t one specifically agreed upon age at which a child should begin resistance training, it is generally recommended that they must be mature enough to accept and follow directions and possess an understanding of the risks and benefits associated with resistance training. This way, they are making their own decision to participate and understanding what they are agreeing to, not simply doing what their parents want.
Overall, resistance training can help a young athlete get a jump start on a healthier lifestyle, while also getting stronger and more fit. The training has been shown to increase athletes’ confidence in themselves, while also helping to reduce the risk of injury during sports due to the athletes having stronger muscles. Although it is ultimately up to parents and children to make a joint decision on when to begin, there doesn’t seem to be any wrong answer.
For information on how your son/daughter can get started with resistance training in sports performance classes please click here: Private Sports Performance Classes