Safety Guidelines for Strength Training in Children
It’s Safe Kids Week! Many children engage in athletic activities including strength training to improve their health, performance and self esteem. Strength training is a form of physical conditioning used to increase the ability to resist force, such as the use of weight machines or free weights. The HSS Rehabilitation Department provides the following safety guidelines for parents who want to consider strength training for their kids:
1. A qualified individual (physical therapist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist [CSCS®] or athletic trainer) must be present.
2. There must not be too many other kids at the same session. The best ratios for training are one-on-one, -two, or -three, and there should never be more than three to four children to a trainer, especially in sessions for beginners.
3. Perform aerobic exercise for 10 minutes before training begins.
4. Use different modes of training, including free weights, size-appropriate weight machines, body weight exercises, elastic bands and medicine balls.
5. Start with six to eight exercises, 10 to 15 repetitions per set at a low weight level. Choose weight with which a child can succeed. Adults can spot children to help them finish a set.