Some coaches think kids shouldn’t do strength training.
The reasons are varied: It makes them too slow. Their bones aren’t developed. It stunts their growth.
Hogwash. Even the Mayo Clinic sites reasons for why kids should do strength training:
So if your child should do strength training, what’s the best way to do it?
I think for most kids and soccer players, bodyweight exercises are the way to go.
For the most part, kids can handle their own weight. And if they can’t, then it’s fairly easy to modify the exercise so that they can.
It doesn’t take any extra equipment or a different location to train. You can do strength train for soccer anywhere and anytime.
It uses the bodies natural movements in functional ways. You’re not strapped to a machine doing a bench press, or pressing up weights in a rack.
You might be lifting your body off the ground (something we’ve been doing for thousands of years) or doing squats and lunges (another movement we do every day).
Another advantage of bodyweight exercises for soccer is that there are countless varieties and modifications you can do. If push-ups are too hard, do them on your knees. If they are too easy, elevate the legs.
Every muscle and movement can be improved by strength training. And strengthening all the muscles kids will improve their running, kicking, stopping, turning and endurance.
My next article will list my five favorite bodyweight exercises for kids to do.
Get your kid and your team to do them and you will have a faster, fitter, healthier and better team.