Is strength training suitable for children?

Gregorio Bermudo

15 in March, 2017

One of the most classic discussions of physical education is whether strength training in children is valid. In this article we try to analyze this polemic in a balanced way and offer a clarifying point of view.

Since the scientific research initiatives were installed in physical activity and sports in order to facilitate decision making and demystifying certain situations, the question of childhood training has always been an element of self - study Obviously the age range that the population attributes to childhood is wide enough, ranging from birth to adolescence and therefore in everything related to sports or non-sports training we have the need to specify it more, In this area, when we refer to children, we will be attending to the pre-adolescence era.
The historically established evidence has always considered the work of force not adequate in these ages, especially not contributing to inequality in the physical evolution of the child and to avoid the associated risk of injury. In addition, studies aimed at evaluating the efficiency of the training did not show great results, the children did not increase their ability to overcome resistances and did not change their body structure. Very probably at this time the approach attributed to the training was not the correct one, it was too pure and consequently the expected effect that did not arrive or did not make much sense.
Change of tendency
In recent years, in which fortunately deprogramming is what drives us to question everything, general thinking has changed and we have a certain positive trend in reference to the training of strength in children. On what basis has this turn been based?
The first question is the intentionality of the training! Why could it be useful for us to work in children? As in all aspects of life, the first stone of success is to ask the right questions, it is the best way to give any process a common sense. In this regard, and for priority criteria, the most interesting answers are the following:
In a period of approach to a phase as delicate as adolescence it is vital to have the body as prepared as possible. A work of moderate strength will allow us, above all, to provide us with a more consolidated bone structure, anatomically, it is very important to stimulate bone cells and growth cartilages for future adaptations.
This type of training has psychological benefits for an increase in self-esteem, as well as an increase in the responsibility of the children for their own perception of entering into an activity of an adult nature.
It does not adversely affect the sport performance of children, allows them to compete in better conditions for their transfer with the speed of execution.
Go very carefully
The delicacy with which this type of adult training should be treated grows exponentially with this population, it is absolutely necessary to respect three key concepts:
Anatomical adaptation: in no case can we start a work of strength without consolidating the 0 point and more in people who have never carried out a similar training.
Proportionality in the charges: the use of loads of maximum type is absolutely discarded, the average loads already allow us to obtain expected benefits.
Ensuring the mastery of the technique, as it is logical to take no risks, is the simplest basic exercises and comfortable positions.
With the mastery of these three key aspects, it is only necessary to take into account the psychological characteristics of the children, for which a very varied circuit type training is much more convenient, with a large number of exercises (8-10) that contribute to not fall in the dispersion and also with short work time (between 20 '' - 25 '' in each series).

the author

Gregorio Bermudo

Sant Joan Despí sports management director

Bachelor's Degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences and Master's Degree in Economic Management of Sports Entities (UB)

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