Bringing your child into the gym for the first time is exciting for both you and them, and you may think they can start doing the same routine you do, but is it the right thing to do? Teaching kids how to work out the right way can build a foundation that lasts a lifetime; beginning slowly and mastering fundamentals at an early age can put them at an advantage through their adolescent years and advance them beyond their years once they reach full physical maturity in their early adulthood. Here are a few tips to make their introduction to weight training easy:
Less is more: Master bodyweight movements before adding weight. Once weights are added, keep the intensity low and the volume high (meaning perform less weights for more reps).
Keep the movements basic: Squats, lunges, dumbbell bench presses, chin-ups...they all sound boring, but these are essential movements that will make every other exercise down the road more effective. Don’t be deceived by what you or your child may see on social media; just because it looks cool, doesn’t mean they should try it.
Teach proper safety with machines and around heavy weights: The risk of injury caused by negligence or carelessness in the weightroom is all too common, but can be reduced with proper knowledge of how to move the weights SAFELY.
Avoid overtraining: It is more effective to leave the weight room feeling like you didn’t do enough than it is feeling like you overdid it. Overtraining can increase short- and long-term injury risk especially when form breaks down from lack of experience.
A frequently asked question by parents in the fitness industry is: “At what age should my kid start lifting?” According to kidshealth.org, kids as young as 7 or 8 years old may begin strength training, as long as they have good body control, balance, and follow directions well. Adolescent-aged kids over the age of 13 can slowly begin adding more weight while keeping repetitions high (in the range of 8-15), as their bodies are growing more rapidly and can adapt to stimuli more easily.
At FiT Athlete we prioritize safety in our weight training program with our students, and ensure to teach everyone the proper foundation to set them up for long-term fitness success!