Great Workout for Youth!

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Question: My son is only 7 but he wants to work out with weights. I have a weight set at home. Should I teach him to workout with it?
Answer: We want kids to want to exercise and be healthy while they are young but how young is too young to workout with weights? The weights themselves are not dangerous with an adult spotter and teacher but you certainly want to teach him good form. The motor skills of kids vary with the amount of physical activity in which they participate and their God-given athletic talent. Teach the motor skills part of the physical equation first with standard bodyweight exercises and plyometrics, which is a long word for jumping. The most important part is to always make it fun and challenging in stages.
Begin the routine with bent-knee sit-ups and put some padding or a folded towel under him. 5 or 10 reps per set and two sets is enough to get him introduced. Let him hold your feet while you do yours as well.
Move on to work upper body and more core with pushups. Again do 5 to 10 reps for two sets.
Squats come next and are usually tougher to teach because the kids want to go down and roll up on their toes. They need to keep their feet flat and allow their knees to flow outward instead of floating inward and rolling on the insides of their feet. Feet have to be flat and teach them as if they are sitting in a short chair or on a stool. Do 2 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
If you have a pull-up bar assist him in reaching the top position of the pull-up and allow him to slowly descend to a hanging position 3 to 5 times. This will work his back, shoulders and arms.
For plyometrics begin with “power” skipping. Skipping or bounding are essentially the same but more explosiveness is used in the skip with the knee being pulled high to work the hip flexors. Do 4 sets of 10 skips.
Once he has the squat position in good form then you can start him on jumps. These require a box about 8 to 12 inches high. Get him to descend into a squat position and jump up on the box landing on both feet at the same time. Hop backwards off of the box, lower into a squat and jump right back up again. Do 3 sets of 5 reps for these.
You can add in 20 yard sprints coupled with running backwards the same distance. Crossover drills with one foot crossover the other first in the front and the next step to the rear for the 20 yard distance are effective. Just do them moving in both directions 2 times each. Make it fun and keep it challenging.
Go buy a gold medal from your local trophy store for $5 and make it his reward for what ever goal you have for him.
Besides the motivation he will always remember the time he spent with his dad.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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