Youth sports training at Evolve Fitness
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Over One-Third of U.S. Children are Overweight
Most people are aware that North American boys and girls are experiencing epidemic levels of obesity, and that this problem is in large part associated with physical inactivity. However, the standard recommendations for more aerobic exercise and less high-calorie food intake may not be the best advice for overweight and underactive children.
Ideally, children should have access to exercise programs that meet their physiological needs and match their personal activity patterns. Fortunately, it is possible to provide such an exercise program, and the beneficial effects exceed most people’s expectations. The activity is sensible strength training and the following list presents 10 reasons for boys and girls to perform regular resistance exercise.
Benefits of strength exercise for children
1. stronger muscles
2. stronger bones
3. stronger tendons
4. stronger ligaments
5. more muscle
6. less fat
7. higher metabolism
8. greater physical capacity
9. greater self-confidence
10. lower injury risk
Strength training not only offers many advantages over other types of exercise, it fits the youth activity preference alternating brief bouts of high-effort movement with longer periods of rest/recovery. Strength training also provides visual reinforcement to the exerciser, showing how much weight is being lifted and how much progress has been made. One of the best features of strength training is the success experienced by overweight boys and girls. Because weight lifted is positively related to bodyweight, heavier children typically train with heavier weight loads than their lighter peers. Unlike most athletic activities in which extra bodyweight is undesirable (e.g., running, jumping, soccer, basketball), strength training actually favors larger youth and gives them a much needed sense of physical achievement.
Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that strength training is an inappropriate and unsafe activity for youth. Conceptually, this does not make sense. If strength training is safe and effective for frail elderly, how much more so for healthy young people who have full movement capacity and plenty of energy. Indeed, there has never been a reported serious injury in any prospective study on youth strength training. To the contrary, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (l993), 50 percent of preadolescent sports injuries could be prevented in large part by youth strength and conditioning programs. We have conducted regular strength training classes for 6 to 12 years old for the past 17 years without an injury.
What Your Child Can Expect With Evolve’s Youth Training
We start with an assessment of current skills, then we use dynamic techniques to improve speed, precision and stamina.
Build Strength: A basic strength-building program for speed includes strengthening the legs (calves, hamstrings, and quads); strengthening the upper body; and the core muscles (abdominals and back). These basic exercises and more can help the athlete begin to develop the strength necessary to build speed and endurance on the field or hard court.
Work on Acceleration and Quickness: A real focus is placed on leg strengthening to help athletes improve their acceleration, which in turn builds muscle memory, muscle speed and strengthens the legs.
Don’t Forget Deceleration: Braking or decelerating is extremely important to speed training–perhaps the most important skill in most sports. This may seem counter intuitive to some, but in order to have effective speed on the basketball court or on the soccer field the athlete must be able to run fast, decelerate or slow down, and reaccelerate into a sprint, cut, or jump.