Should kids train?
Alpha is completely on board with breaking the false rumours that kids shouldn’t be training or lifting weights. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Parent’s often think the best way to get better a sport is more sport, but that isn’t the case. Teaching kids to move better while also getting them stronger, faster and more powerful will do wonders for their sports performance, injury risk, body composition and energy throughout the day.
The impact of forces that travel through the body during sport are significantly higher than force on the body in the weight room. More sport can almost be increasing your child’s injury risk as they do not have the capacity to withstand the tremendous amounts of force on the body. Strength training can increase that capacity, decreasing their injury risk while making them much more powerful and explosive. For over two decades it has been scientifically proven that weight training does not damage the growth plate in children. Every child should be participating in a strength program to increase their performance and decrease their risk of injury in the playground and the sporting field.
Investing in our children now will enable us to “Build stronger children, rather than fix broken adults”. Investing in our kids ability to move well will reduce injury risk in the present and later in life. There is a movement happening in Australia where strength and conditioning coaches are being more vocal about junior athletic development and Alpha is a big part of this.
When do they start and what is involved?
It is safe for children to start training once their attention span allows for it, however as Alpha we start at the age of 8 as a rough guideline but this may change between each child. Your children will not begin with heavy strength work, in face it may be months or years before they are even introduced to a barbell. The beginning of their training will teach them how to move, including jumping, landing, squatting, hip hinging, pushing and pulling. There will be an element of fun involved where they can get inverted and learn how to handstand as well. These movements are what we call ‘Movement Fundamentals’.
As the kids grow bigger and stronger, they will slowly be introduced to more external resistance, but only when they attain a particular standard of movement quality and increased capacity. Rather than having specific ages as qualification to progress to external load, their eligibility is based on their quality of movement, ensuring a safe progression into strength and conditioning.
How do they start?
We run Junior Athletic Development training groups which allows all the kids to interact with one another and also support each other in their training. This is the most effective way for our children to grow together. We also offer 1 on 1 or small groups for those who would like or require additional work.
Contact us to begin your Child’s Athletic Development Today!