Kids Exercise Programs – Tips for Strength Training and Cardio


The physical and mental benefits of commencing an exercise program at a young age is an important habit that should be present in every person. Children play naturally, but modern technology and lifestyle has led to an imbalance in these activities that used to be a natural part of development.

Childhood obesity is increasing, yet there is a huge amount of pressure on children to succeed in sport, often without the proper base, which results in injury.


  • Establishes a life-long habit.
  • Productive energy release.
  • Improves motor abilities, balance, co-ordination,
  • Improves fitness levels and cardiorespiratory function.
  • Manages risk factors such as childhood obesity, heart disease and diabetes.


  • Interval training improves children’s fitness levels and prevents dehydration and excessive fatigue.
  • Interval training involves gradual elevation of heart rate alternated with active recovery.
  • Interval training on a regular basis combined with healthy eating habits will prevent obesity and other lifestyle diseases.
  • 50% of kids in USA are overweight. Body mass index (height-weight ratio) exceeds the norm.
  • 25% of kids spend more than 4 hours per day in front of TV.
  • In USA, car seats dimensions are being modified to cater for bigger babies.


  • Previously it was assumed that body weight exercises are the preferred way of training children, but while pushups may be relatively simple, very few children can perform a pull up with proper form.
  • Before developing strength, a child must have a stable base to build on.
  • Research has shown that a progressive resistance program with adequate supervision is beneficial to children.
  • This does not mean that children should be using the resistance equipment in the gym as it is designed for adult bodies and the dimensions of the equipment may not suit the growing child.
  • Children also get bored with repetitive activity and need to be mentally stimulated.
  • Supervision by a fitness professional is important in monitoring technique, movement speed, breathing patterns, rest and rehydration.
  • Supervised strength training programs (not necessarily dumbbells) will ensure that children have proper technique as they progress into adulthood.
  • Studies found that prepubescent kids respond better to increased reps and decreased weight.
  • A joint must be exercised through full range of motion.
  • Proper execution is more important than number of repetitions due to the fatigue rate of children.
  • Slow movements (six second repetitions) were found to be most effective.
  • Resistance must be appropriate to age and development

CLOSING WITH SCARY FACT – our children will not grow up to be same size as parents, they will be LARGER. This can be prevented by educating them from a young age on the benefits of exercise and a balanced lifestyle.

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About Author

Lee-Ann Barnes

I'm a newly resigned, self-employed personal trainer, group trainer and strong chick looking to make a difference in people's lives. I'm brutally honest and straight forward and write about things as I see them. See my profile page for more information!

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