Plyometrics and Olympic Lifting: Effective Training For Kids

Social Networking

Plyometrics and Olympic Lifting

Many coaches and parents wonder which training methods are safe and effective for kids. School-aged children often participate in athletics and sometimes scholarships are even on the line. Some of the most popular kinds of training for kids are traditional weight lifting, plyometrics, and Olympic weightlifting. In a study this month in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers looked at the effectiveness of each of these modalities.

Traditional resistance training methods, which are essentially basic weight lifting programs, are thought to be good for kids because of their proven track record. In addition, traditional weight lifting favors the development of lean muscle mass and strength. In theory, this effect would help child athletes perform better at their sport.

The second group of exercises the researchers studied was plyometrics. Plyometric exercises are seen as closer to what an athlete actually experiences when competing. The basic idea with plyometrics is to develop power, and this end is achieved by mimicking reactions that occur normally in sports.

Traditional resistance training methods, which are essentially basic weight lifting programs, are thought to be good for kids because of their proven track record. In addition, traditional weight lifting favors the development of lean muscle mass and strength. In theory, this effect would help child athletes perform better at their sport.

The second group of exercises the researchers studied was plyometrics. Plyometric exercises are seen as closer to what an athlete actually experiences when competing. The basic idea with plyometrics is to develop power, and this end is achieved by mimicking reactions that occur normally in sports.

Despite the authors’ assurances that these methods are completely safe, they also acknowledge the time it takes to learn the Olympic lifts. I have worked with countless kids, and many times enforcing safe form can be difficult. I think the researchers’ recommendations might be a bit liberal, especially in the case of group weight training, where it’s harder to ensure proper form. But it seems that performance-wise, Olympic lifts and plyos might be better for kids after all. With good coaching, these training approaches can be safe as well.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply