American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

According to the CDC, 17.7% of children age 6 to 11 are considered obese. This means that fitness professionals have a very important role in the fitness of future generations. By focusing on youth fitness, the fitness professional can help proactively reduce the obesity epidemic in our country and help the youth of America love fitness. By understanding how to effectively program for children, the fitness professional is able to instill foundations of body awareness, flexibility, strength and confidence in this important population.

Choice and Order of Exercise

When training kids, choice and order of exercise are critical. You’ll want to start simple and progress each child based on fitness level, once they’ve built confidence and strength. ACE Certified Personal Trainer Anna Renderer shares why it’s so important to evaluate a child’s fitness level and progression in order to prevent injury or long-term poor habits. Read the full article here.

Weight-bearing Exercise

Typically, kids will develop calcium-rich, strong bones naturally as they grow. But, since calcium is only one factor in building bone mineral density, weight-bearing activities are also important. ACE Certified Personal Trainer Anna Renderer gives some simple ideas for providing exercise for kids that will also help build strong bones. Learn how using gravity and performing moves such as hopscotch and plank jacks will help kids build a solid bone structure, and find a complete workout in the full article.

Overload Principle

The overload principle states the body must exercise at a level beyond at which it is normally stressed in order to get stronger. If you are working with kids that are aiming to progress into competitive sports, in line with the overload principle, you will want to challenge them by increasing resistance, speed and difficulty. ACE Certified Personal Trainer Anna Renderer shows how to properly train kids while keeping a strong focus on good form. Read the full article and gain ideas on how to help children get stronger and become healthier adults.

Resistance Training

For years, it was thought that kids were too young for strength training because it would affect musculoskeletal development and stunt their growth. However, research has shown that when a child is ready for sports – around 7 or 8 years old – it is safe to train with easy, light weights. ACE Certified Personal Trainer Anna Renderer shares exercises using a medicine ball, hand weights and body weight that will help create a balanced training program for youth while focusing on proper technique and core stability. Read the full article to learn more safety and resistance training tips.

Movement Speed and Range

During the initial learning phase of weight training, it’s important for kids to understand proper technique before attempting to lift heavier weights. ACE Certified Personal Trainer Anna Renderer demonstrates how to teach young athletes controlled speed and full range of motion in order to keep them injury-free as they progress in weight training. For more instruction and a sample workout, read the full article.

Training Progression

As we want to help children build long-term, healthy habits, we don’t want them to feel bored while exercising; training progression is important to avoid burnout, as well as to allow kids to develop more strength as they get better. ACE Certified Personal Trainer Anna Renderer shows how you can challenge a child’s physical abilities by using simple modifications on classic moves such as push-ups and chest presses – all the while maintaining a focus on form. Read the full article here.

Cool Down and Stretch

After strength training, it’s important to allow time for cool-down and stretching with kids. This provides a space for discussing healthy tips, improving flexibility, and understanding the difference between a gentle stretch and pain. ACE Certified Personal Trainer Anna Renderer shares a simple cool-down stretching routine that’s great for kids just beginning to strength train or participate in structured exercise. Read the full article here.

If you're interested in learning how to develop age-appropriate exercise programs, improve the overall health and well-being of children and teens, and help instill the value of physical activity at an early age., check out the ACE Youth Fitness Specialty Certification

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