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List of Strength Exercises for Kids

Strength exercises can help kids build healthy muscles. With an appropriately organized program, kids can advance their strength, endurance and performance. Usually, if the kid is ready to play organized sports, beginning strength exercises is safe.

Program Design

The amount of weight used should be based on the child's size and strength. Kids should begin without resistance and increase to light weights when proper technique is achieved. Progression occurs by increasing sets or exercises.

A 10-minute cardiovascular activity and stretching warmup should precede the strength training routine. The program should consist of one set of eight repetitions of eight to 10 exercises that center on the major muscle groups. Cool down with a low-impact activity and gentle stretching after the routine.

Monday: Chest and Back

The chest and back routine consist of body-weight pushups, bent-over rows and chest press with light or no weight. Ensure proper technique with all body-weight exercises.

Wednesday: Legs and Abdominals

The legs and abdominal routine consist of body-weight squats, lunges and crunches. Ensure that the arms are stabilized across the chest or at the sides.

Friday: Arms and Shoulders

The arms and shoulder routine consist of lateral shoulder raises, shoulder press and dumbbell curls with light or no weight. Pullups should be performed with body weight. Be sure to stabilize the child’s legs during pullups.

Safety Considerations

Consult with your child doctor before beginning a strength-training program. Always ensure that your child is correctly supervised, using safe equipment and abiding by routine that is appropriate for her age.

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About the Author

Christina Bhattacharya has been involved in the health and fitness field since 1999. Bhattacharya holds an A.S. in physical therapy from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Arts in technical communications from University of Maryland University College and a Master of Science in health management from Lindenwood University. She also holds personal trainer, senior strength training and Pilates certifications.

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