Announcing our new Junior Strength & Conditioning program!

Have you considered Strength and Conditioning exercise for your children? Or wondered about the benefits that it could provide? There are plenty of misconceptions about this topic out there so this article aims to clear up these notions and explore the many benefits of strength exercise for children.

Strength and resistance training is an excellent way to reduce the occurrence of injury in children’s sport. Zwolski et al (2017) concluded that this benefit could be up to a 68% reduction in injury risk. 

The Australian Physical Activity Guidelines state that children and adolescents should participate in a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise every day, in combination with muscle and bone strengthening exercise at least 3 times per week. Missing out on these recommendations can result in increased activity and sport-related injury risk, increased risk of metabolic conditions, reduction in bone strength and density and decreased mental health. 

However, when children do reach these targets and participate in strength and conditioning exercise, supervised by a professional with an in-depth understanding, the benefits are almost an endless list. Children can improve their bone strength and health, reduce their injury risk, improve sporting performance, create a positive relationship with exercise and physical activity, improve their mental health and prevent the onset of metabolic conditions such as obesity and diabetes. 

Strength and resistance training can often be overlooked in children and adolescents due to FALSE beliefs that it is dangerous or increases the risk of injury in this population. There are numerous resources, Myers et al. 2017, Falk & Dotan 2019, Smith 2017, just to name a few, that state the benefits of and strongly encourage strength exercise for children, noting that if supervised and run correctly, the risk of injury is no greater, if not significantly less, than that of the sports that children commonly participate in. 

If this is starting to spark your interest, and you are wondering how to start reaping these health and fitness benefits for your children, these 3 important tips can help to get you started:

  • Find an appropriate professional to help. Accredited Exercise Physiologists, Exercise Scientists or Strength and Conditioning coaches have the experience and understanding through their study and practice to develop the most beneficial, safe and enjoyable program. Physiotherapists may also play an important role if your child has a history of injuries or any developmental issues. 
  • Start slow and steady. There is no need to rush in and do too much too quickly when it comes to strength exercise and training. If it is something new, the body will need time to adapt to its new requirements and start to get used to the loads being placed on it. A good tip is to start with body-weight exercises before adding any external load such as weights, pulleys etc.
  • Listen to your body. If strength and resistance training is something new, so too might be the experience of DOMS. DOMS stands for Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness and generally occurs as the body is recovering from a bout of exercise. DOMS following a session of strength exercise that lasts longer than 24 hours might be the body saying that it needs to take it easier next time. However, DOMS which occurs within the first 24 hours following exercise and subsides soon after is nothing to be concerned about and all a part of the way the body changes and adapts.

To help get your child started with strength and resistance exercise, EP Physio Plus will be running a 10 week program during Term 4 of the school year. The program will be designed and supervised by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and help to get your child performing at their peak for summer sport and into 2020. 

What it is: 10 week strength and conditioning program for high school aged students. 

Where it is: The new EP Physio Plus gym – 17 Edinburgh Street, Port Lincoln

When it is: Days TBC, Time: 4pm-4:45pm during school Term 4. 

To find out more, call us on 8682 6665 or message us through our Facebook page at EP Physio Plus. 

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