Recently we’ve been asked by many patients on “what is the best age to start resistance training”?
Resistance training is the ability to build muscles by using movements which challenge muscle groups to work against a force, weight or resistance.
There are many positive effects of resistance training which include:
- improve sports performance, treat or prevent injuries, or improve their appearance.
- Improve bone strength
- Improve mental health
- Increase lean body mass and improve confidence and self-esteem
- Help promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Help maintain a healthy weight
However where do we start? And at what age can we start working on our muscular system.
The research says, that resistance should be age-specific and goal specific. However, as a general rule of thumb, Kids as young as 7 or 8 can start strength training if they have good balance and control of their body, follow instructions and can complete exercises with good form.
The first goal of training, is to identify what your goals and motivators for resistance training are. This will provide more information to the program in which you should follow. Try and work the posterior chain more often to combat poor posture and create better stability More emphasis on core, back, glutes, hamstrings and less emphasis on chest and biceps Find a practitioner that can assess and identify weaknesses and provide a program to balance the body for the specific goals and needs. Start with form and master the basics. You don’t need to add weight straight away.
Simple exercises to master include:
- Glute bridges
- Pull ups (TRX rows)
- Bird Dog
- Dead bugs
- Plyometric exercises – box jumps, skipping
- Push ups
- 8-15 reps with good form before adding or increasing weight
6-8 exercises per session
Written by Dr. Courtney Cox