Kid's Workout Thoughts: Navigating the World of Workouts for Kids
4 minute read
In the last decade, I've been deeply immersed in Division I college athletics at premier universities. Among the frequently asked questions from friends, family, and especially curious parents, a standout query remains: "When should my child start with workouts for kids, like lifting weights?"
There isn't a universally perfect time. Every child's growth journey is unique, exhibiting varied paces and developmental backgrounds. Now, at 36, revisiting this question makes me reminisce about my own growth trajectory.
During my middle school years, my agility increased, and I felt more robust. By then, I was actively involved as a multi-sport participant, from casual recreational activities to competitive travel teams. Although specific kid workouts, like weight lifting, were not part of my routine, physical activity significantly influenced my daily life.
I wasn’t necessarily hefting weighty barbells, but activities like running, jumping, and sprinting were my go-to exercises. These exercises, inherently plyometric in nature, are directly linked to muscle enhancement and overall strength. Drawing from this personal experience, I firmly advocate that middle school children should engage in diverse sports. These sports should challenge their agility, testing their acceleration, deceleration, and change in direction, vital components of effective workouts for kids.
Diving deeper into the topic of weightlifting for young teens, the keyword is 'gradualism.' I emphasize that middle schoolers should initially focus on mastering control over their own body weight. Before delving into more intensive kid workouts, foundational exercises such as pushups, pull-ups, body weight lunges, and squats are crucial. They should be proficient in these basics before transitioning to weight-loaded exercises. Integrating sports with these bodyweight routines is a potent recipe for nurturing a robust foundation that promises impressive advancements in the years ahead.
The inception of specific workouts for kids, like weightlifting, indeed oscillates on a spectrum. A child's physiological development and age are pivotal determinants. But one thing is crystal clear: Introducing kids to sports and a fitness-centric lifestyle early on significantly augments their prospects of evolving into athletic individuals. It also primes them for more complex weight-bearing exercises in the future.
Given the burgeoning interest in workouts for kids and the vital role of physical activity in a child's holistic growth, let’s explore the benefits of early sports exposure and its impact.
Benefits of Early Exposure to Workouts for Kids
- Cognitive Growth: Engaging in diverse sports and structured kid workouts sharpens cognitive faculties. Decision-making, strategic planning, and enhanced concentration are just a few benefits.
- Physical Development: Regular workouts for kids facilitate better muscular development, enhanced bone density, and improved cardiovascular health.
- Skill Acquisition: Early exposure to various sports techniques aids in the seamless assimilation of complex motor skills. It equips children with the versatility to adapt and excel in multiple sports as they grow.
- Socio-Emotional Well-being: Kid workouts, especially team sports, nurture essential life skills. Teamwork, leadership, patience, resilience, and handling victories and defeats gracefully are invaluable lessons imbibed.
- Lifestyle Habits: Establishing a routine centered on workouts for kids fosters healthy habits. This discipline significantly reduces the allure of sedentary activities, ensuring a more active and fulfilling life.
Considering the myriad benefits and the rapidly changing global scenario, ensuring that our kids have access to structured and safe workouts is paramount. Whether it's through team sports, individual activities, or even guided kid workouts at home, the aim should be holistic development.
Conclusively, while the specifics of when to initiate weightlifting or other intensive workouts for kids may vary, the underpinning philosophy remains consistent: Cultivate a love for activity early on, emphasize foundational exercises, and ensure a progression that's aligned with each child's unique developmental journey.
– Ben Fleming, Clean Eatz Corporate Team, Project Management & Operations