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Strength training doesn’t have to be just for the grown ups!

Strength training for kids doesn’t stunt growth. It strengthens bones and connective tissue, which reduces the risk of injury when engaging in other physical activities.

For children, strength training has been shown to improve self-esteem and focus. In one study, overweight children who began a strength training practice were more likely to continue than overweight kids who began a cardio routine. Here are a few strength training activities that require no equipment. Get the kids moving and challenge them with these exercises:

The Wheelbarrow: This is a simple exercise that builds upper body strength and coordination for both parties involved. It also teaches teamwork.

The Plank Hold Countdown: Hold a plank position while an adult counts backwards..

Handstand Practice: See how long they can hold a handstand without losing good form.

Picking Up Heavy Rocks: To make it more interesting, you can see how far they can throw the rock.

Obstacle Course Race: Parents can build an obstacle course and see how fast the kids can get through it. Add new challenges every day until it has taken over the whole yard and has to be removed.

Source: Weightlifting can be helpful for obese kids Feb 14 2011|By James S. Fell, Special to the Los Angeles Times

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