Kettlebells and strength training for kids

I work as the physical trainer for Aros Badminton Club, and have been working 5 times a week with Line over the last 4 months.

The development is quite amazing and I wanted to share some videos with you. I wished adults could learn at the same rate!

We started working on lifting technique with very light bars,  bodyweight exercises, kettlebells and resistance bands, doing GPP, each day with a different focus and intensity. We also work on coordination, mobility, balance, and reaction time. We play a lot with medicine balls throws.

It is a shame I do not have any footage from when we started. But her parents, her badminton coach, and the other players can see the difference, physically but also in her game.

I started to implement some element of strongman training in December.

Line has just turned 14, and weighs around 42kg, by the way.

In January, once a week we started to practice deadlifts with a real barbell. The techniques she learned with kettlebells could easily be applied to the barbell and therefore we could add weight quite fast.

We also worked on the kettlebell clean and push press 2 or 3 times a week. You can see for yourself.The 5 minute kettlebell test is not Girevoy sport, but a test of fitness and determination. She did switch hands once. The 8 kg bell was heavy when we started, but now it’s too light!

If you’re a parent, and still believe some of the old myths about training kids, read the research.

During the holiday 2 other kids joined the practices, the difference in body control is obvious.

We are now starting to use sandbags to learn the explosive lifts because they are more forgiving that a barbell.

Supervised strength training with free weights is great for kids and teenagers because they quickly develop coordination, muscular strength and endurance, and body control. I emphasize the word “supervised”, as lack of supervision in one of the main reason people become injured while strength training. Learning safely how to move weights from a young age is an asset for back health.

Challenging physical training is an asset for their future development. They’ll have a great potential for any athletic endeavor they wish to participate in. This is even more relevant in our day and age as ever before. Kids are being chauffeured to school and activities, and they spend more time in front a screen. Technology is doing their bodies a huge disfavor.

Kids love learning new stuff and trying out fun things, so one has to think about making interesting programs for them. Distance running and endless push ups are way too boring. Somewhere along the way, the complexity has to increase to keep them challenged.

I see a lot of big and strong guys struggling when it comes to pushing a not so heavy weight in a different pattern from what they practice at the gym ( pushing or pulling in a straight line). In our society people play less and less sport and just concentrate on the aesthetic or health aspect of lifting weights, if they get any kind of exercise. They simply forget how to move with grace and ease!

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One response to “Kettlebells and strength training for kids

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