Developing a Young Athlete
Youth Fitness for a Young Athlete
The training of our athletes is starting at a much younger age. Many parents are now questioning whether it is safe for their child to lift weights to enhance their sport performance or not.
Criteria To Be Included in a Junior Fitness Program
Before a youth athlete start resistance training, it is important to consider criteria that should be included in a youth training program first. A junior fitness program should include improved movement mechanics and motor skills training. The young athlete needs a fitness program to enable them to gain confidence in their physical abilities.
ACSM cites that if the basic movement patterns, such as squatting, pushing, pulling, hip hinging, core bracing, hopping and jumping are not taught correctly from the beginning, once a load or weight is added, incorrect movement patterns can lead to potential injury of the young athlete. It is also suggested that we expose our children to a variety of sports or recreational activities. This exposure will help the youth to develop movement patterns in many ways. This will also teach hand to eye coordination, decision making skills and sportsmanship.
Age-Appropriate Program With a Certified Fitness Professional
The initiation of youth fitness training, with an age-appropriate program with a certified fitness professional is importation for young athletes. Hire a certified fitness professional who understand the concept of training age and the principles of pediatric exercise science. It is essential that personal trainer responsible possess JrFit™ Youth Fitness Specialty Certification and have practical experience with school-aged children teaching weight training and advanced plyometrics.
Junior Fitness Youth Fitness Specialty Certification
A junior fitness certified trainer is able to develop a specific program that incorporates basic forms of locomotion, manipulation, and stabilization. This will optimize long-term training adaptations and should include rest and recovery within training periods.
Young athletes should begin with a resistance training program of low intensity activity and gradually progress to muscle strengthening and bone strengthening exercise. As conditioning progresses of the young athlete, include moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
How Young is Too Young To Start Training?
So how young is too young for a child to start training? A child should begin training at a young age to learn the basic movement patterns. Once the youth has mastered those, it is safe for them to add resistance training to their program under the supervision of a certified personal trainer.