Is personal training for kids really effective? Is personal training for kids the same as training adults? What about strength training – isn’t it dangerous for kids?
These are the questions parents ask us over and over again, so we thought we’d take a minute to clear up some common myths about training kids to give you a better idea of how it works and what you can expect from kid’s training sessions.
Myth #1: Personal Training Doesn’t Provide Benefits to Kids
When I ask adults what they think about fitness, most agree that personal training plays a vital role in helping them live active, healthy lifestyles.
But when I ask the same questions about fitness for children, the responses are mixed. Surprisingly, many parents aren’t clear on the benefits of personal training for kids.
Here are some undeniable benefits a quality personal training program can deliver for your child:
- Improvements in overall health including stronger bones and muscles
- Boosts in confidence leading to better social skills
- Active children perform better academically
- Develop leadership skills and strengthen character
Myth #2: Training Kids is the same as Training Adults
One thing many parents don’t realize is that these benefits are directly linked to the trainer’s level of experience working with kids.
Trainers who only have experience working with adults tend to treat kids like “miniature adults”. Yes, children grow into adulthood, but they aren’t adults now and training them as miniature adults can actually do more harm than good.
There’s a big difference between training a child and training an adult, so simply throwing a “Kid’s Personal Training” sign on your gym door isn’t going to cut it. Kids have unique fitness requirements and trainers who have experience working with children know how to push kids safely beyond their limitations. They also know how to make exercise fun so kids crave their next workout. Trainers who don’t have experience with kids can hinder their fitness progress.
Children have a unique makeup and trainers who work with kids know how to exercise them safely and effectively. This doesn’t mean they provide a boring, watered-down workout. It just means there are some things to be aware of to insure safety and success.
Children can engage in vigorous activity, but they may need frequent breaks to rehydrate, especially in warm weather. Typically after a shore break kids are re-energized and ready to get right back to work.
Myth #2: Children Shouldn’t Strength Train
Another popular myth is that children should not strength train because it will damage their developing bodies. This is false.
Body-weight exercises, exercise bands, and light weights can be used with proper supervision to increase strength.
Two things to avoid when it comes to strength training for kids are “training to failure” and using really heavy weight for low rep sets. This approach can be damaging to their still developing bodies.
A better approach is to use light weights with longer reps and fewer sets to allow children to develop their strength at a natural and slower pace.
Personal training can benefit kids in ways that extend far beyond developing healthy exercise habits. Kids who exercise regularly develop a discipline and a healthy attitude about being active, and this positive outlook spills over into other areas of their life. They have more confidence and tend to embrace the world around them with excitement and vitality.
In order to ensure your child’s safety and continued enthusiasm about exercise, make sure the trainer you choose has youth fitness certification and/or ample experience working with kids.
Energetic Juniors specializes in personal training for kids (in fact, that’s all we do!) If you’re looking for a trainer to work with your child, take a look at the full range of personal training sessions we provide and contact us at 212-879-1566 for more information.