Here at S.W.A.G. Kid’s gym, in addition to our ninja warrior and free play classes offered for children ages 10 months to 12 years, we have another workout and strength focused class for our members ages 8-13 called the Workout Warriors. In this class, kids take part in running- both inside the gym and outside, jumping, hopping, change of direction movements, and introductory level strength training with free weights. These different types of movements and workouts help our athletes in a variety of ways and also help in their specific sports that they are a part of outside of the gym.
For children ages 7 to 13, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that they partake in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday. This includes fast walking, riding a bike, playing, running, organized sports, gymnastics, skipping, and jumping. Frequent breaks and time to settle their heart rate is also important, and the 60 minutes is not needed to be continuous to get the same benefits.
Strength training is often something that we think of adults doing, but when done properly and safely with children, it can put your child on a lifetime path of improved health and fitness.
There is a stark difference between weightlifting and strength training, and here at S.W.A.G., we focus on the latter. Strength training is best utilized in this age group with light resistance and controlled movements, especially when the emphasis is on proper technique and safety. Strength training has the potential to increase children’s muscle strength and endurance as well as helping improve their performance in nearly any sport.
The benefits of exercise in this age group of children has many health benefits for them in the present and moving forward in their development. Some of these benefits include developing healthy bones, muscles, and joints, developing a healthy heart and lungs, improving coordination, strength, and muscle control, maintaining a healthy body weight, improving flexibility, improved balance and posture, improved brain development that will lead to improved concentration and thinking skills, and a decrease in their likelihood of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The main way to encourage physical activity in this age group is to make sure your child is having fun. That is our main goal here at S.W.A.G., and the Workout Warrior class is the perfect combination of hard work and a good time. In addition, children can be encouraged to workout if there is a good variation of movements and activities in their exercise routine, and if they are sharing the experience with their peers. In our Workout Warriors class we often see great bouts of teamwork and the children cheering for and encouraging each other on their own will, which boosts communication, confidence, and social skills. Praising children for their hard work in a safe and fun environment leads to the exercise behaviors being positively reinforced and will increase their likelihood of enjoying it and sticking with it.
Here at S.W.A.G., our Workout Warriors class is a great mixture of our fun gymnastics and an introduction to strength and conditioning training. Children enjoy themselves when doing it and see it as a new opportunity to show what they got! In a safe environment done correctly, strength training for children ages 7 and up is one of the most beneficial types of exercises that they can do for their bodies which will help their overall health as well as their ability and performance in other sports- since this is also usually the age when they start to get serious about sports. Class times for our Workout Warriors class can be found on our schedule through the S.W.A.G. website.