Youth Strength Training

Are chores bad for our children? Some parents have lingering concerns about the safety of youth strength training and others question whether the potential benefits of youth strength training outweigh the risks. The purpose of this article is to address these concerns and dispel common misconceptions associated with youth strength training. 

Myth: Strength training is unsafe for children. 

Fact: The risks associated with strength training are not greater than other sports and activities in which children regularly participate. However, the key is to provide qualified supervision, age-specific instruction and a safe training environment because, as in many sports, accidents can happen if children do not follow established training guidelines. Children should not use strength training equipment at home without supervision from a qualified professional. 

Myth: Strength training will stunt the growth of children. 

Fact: There is no current evidence to indicate a decrease in stature in children who regularly strength train in a supervised environment with qualified instruction. In all likelihood, participation in weight-bearing physical activities (including strength training) will have a favorable influence on growth at any stage of development but will not affect a child’s genetic height potential. 

Myth: Children will experience bone growth plate damage as a result of strength training. 

Fact: A growth plate fracture has not been reported in any research study that was competently supervised and appropriately designed. 

Nonetheless, youth coaches, physical education teachers and fitness instructors must be aware of the inherent risk associated with strength training and should attempt to decrease this risk by following established training guidelines. Do you have your child take out the trash? Or even do any type of chore around the house? well that my friends is strength training! having your child participate in safe strength training atmosphere will only benefit your child. Next time you think about having your child do a chore around the house remember its only for the best for you and your child.

Don't Cheat Yourself, Treat Yourself!

If you struggle like most to get thru a 9-5 job you might not always be in the greatest mood. Or even have the energy to go thru your day. Well I’m here to tell you that there’s a treatment! Its called physical activity!!! or exercise!!!

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body.  For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life. Regular exercise has been proven to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve sleep
  • It strengthens your heart.
  • It increases energy levels.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It improves muscle tone and strength.
  • It strengthens and builds bones.
  • It helps reduce body fat.
  • It makes you look fit and healthy.
  • It appears that any form of exercise can help depression. Some examples:
    • Biking
    • Dancing
    • Gardening
    • Golf (walking instead of using the cart)
    • Housework, especially sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming
    • Jogging at a moderate pace
    • Low-impact aerobics
    • Playing tennis
    • Swimming
    • Walking
    • Yard work, especially mowing or raking
    • Yoga

Don’t go thru your day feeling sluggish and Annoyed or upset for no apparent reason. listen to your body. It needs movement. Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself with exercise. It’ll make you happier and make your day go by a lot smoother. No matter what the challenges are throughout the day.

5 Fitness Mythbusters!

Myth #1: Crunches and Ab Exercises Help Bust Belly Fat

Truth: While exercises that target the abdomen can help tone and strengthen the muscles near your belly, they won’t make that paunch go away on their own. The human body doesn’t get rid of fat just in certain areas; when you exercise, fat loss is a full-body phenomenon. To minimize body fat focus on intense cardio workouts, supplemented by a weight lifting regimen (which should, of course, include core exercises like crunches). And most importantly, fix your nutrition!

Myth #2: Women Should Stick to Light Weights to Avoid Bulking Up

Truth: The vast majority of women simply don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies to build the Arnold-like muscle mass that some want to avoid. In fact, lifting heavy weights will instead help women lose weight, gain increased definition, and build confidence.

Myth #3: Sweat is a Good Indicator of How Hard You’re Working

Truth: While a nice sweat-soaked t-shirt might make you feel super satisfied after a tough workout, there’s really no relationship between how much you sweat and how hard you’re working. So next time you’re at the gym? Consider leaving that 90s style sweat suit at home.

Myth #4: Stretching Before a Workout Helps Prevent Injuries

Truth: Multiple studies have found that streching before a workout actually does nothing to prevent injuries. In fact, those who stretch before a run actually tend to wind up with more injuries than those who don’t. Stretching after exercising seems to be the best option for those who want to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness. Instead of using stretches before a workout, try to warm-up with some simple jogging, jumping jacks or anything that’ll warm-up the muscles you’ll be using for your workout.

Myth #5: Weight Machines Are Safer Than Free Weights.

Truth: This myth may actually put you at a higher risk for injury. Many gym enthusiasts stick to weight machines rather than learning how to use free weights, because they believe that the machine will correct their form and ensure that they don’t hurt themselves.

But there are still tons of ways you can use a weight machine that can damage your muscles and joints, from height and length adjustment to using weights that are too heavy to using the wrong muscle groups to push or pull. Whether you choose to use free weights or weight machines make sure you have a qualified trainer show you the ropes before you get started.

What is a Foam Roller?

Self-myofascial release, also known as “foam rolling,” has transformed from a once mysterious
technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists to a familiar everyday
practice for people at all levels of fitness. Recent information, technology, and affordable
products have introduced an increasing array of training and recovery methods to the average person.

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or triggerpoints. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice. Trigger points are specific “knots” that form in muscles. They are unique and can be identified because they will refer pain. Pain referral, for our purposes, can most easily be described as the pain felt when pressure is applied to one area of the body, but the pain is felt or radiated in another area. A common example of a trigger point is felt while foam rolling your iliotibial (IT) band as it causes pain to radiate up to the hip or all the way down the leg to the ankle. When rolling or working on tight/sore muscles you will experience discomfort or pain. Think of it like the pain you get while stretching. It should be uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and when you are done it should feel better.

Releasing trigger points helps to reestablish proper movement patterns and pain free movement, and ultimately, to enhance performance. Utilizing stretching alone is not always enough to release muscles tightness, which is why foam rollers have thrived on the mass market. Imagine a bungee cord with a knot tied into it and then envision stretching the cord. This creates tension, stretching the unknotted portion of the muscle and the attachment points. The knot, however, has remained unaltered. Foam rolling can assist in breaking up these muscle knots, resuming normal blood flow and function. The goal to any corrective or recovery technique is to get you back to the point of normal functioning, as if nothing was ever wrong. When was the last time you trained like you were a teenager, going hard without a second thought, and injuries were something that only happened due to physical trauma like a 250lb linebacker hitting you?

Both have the same contributing factors including training, flexibility, movement patterns, posture, nutrition, hydration, rest, stress, and other lifestyle factors. Our bodies learn to compensate for what we throw at them every day, but we can exceed our ability to recover via too many intense workouts, poor posture, and other lifestyle factors. This is when you need assistance using recovery techniques or through seeing a professional. If you lived a perfect life with everything in balance, you would theoretically never have either of these conditions, however I’ve yet to meet that person.

To foam roll properly, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your bodyweight. You should roll slowly, no more than one inch per second. When you find areas that are tight or painful, pause for several seconds and relax as much as possible. You should slowly start to feel the muscle releasing, and after 5-30 seconds the discomfort or pain should lessen. If an area is too painful to apply direct pressure, shift the roller and apply pressure on the surrounding area and gradually work to loosen the entire area. The goal is to restore healthy muscles – it is not a pain tolerance test. You may also use other objects to work on muscles such as a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or Trigger Point Therapy Kit. Never roll a joint or bone. Avoid rolling your lower back. To target these muscles I recommended using a tennis ball or lacrosse ball If you are having issues with your neck refer these issues to an appropriate medical professional, as these areas they can be more sensitive and require more advanced attention.

You may be sore the next day. It should feel as if your muscles have been worked/ released, however you should not push yourself to the point of excessive soreness. Drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and eat clean. This will help to flush your system and fuel your muscles more effectively. Give it 24-48 hours before focusing on the same area again.