When choosing strength training exercises it is important to have a clear understanding of what you want to get out of them. Let’s consider lunges and squats. Both exercises can be used to increase lower body strength, but lunges present a significantly higher balance challenge compared with traditional squats. If stabilization and balance are what you are working on, the lunge is a more effective exercise, and you can further increase the balance challenge by using a Bosu ball or similarly unstable surface. If your goal is to produce maximum force, traditional squats are a more effective exercise.
You may also have heard that for children, calisthenics exercises are safer than strength training exercises. This is likewise untrue. Most children—especially those who are underfit and overweight—cannot complete a single pull-up, bar-dip or push-up, making these calisthenics maximum-effort exercises that result in failure. However, we have found that using resistance equipment, these same kids can adjust the weight load as necessary and are able to perform 10 to 15 controlled repetitions of every exercise.
Strength training for kids not only offers many advantages over other types of exercise; it also appeals to children’s activity preference to alternate brief bouts of high-effort movement with longer periods of rest/recovery. Strength training exercises for kids also provide visual reinforcement, because young exercisers can easily see how much weight they are lifting and how much progress they have made.
In addition, you can also incorporate common weightlifting moves, such as overhead squats and deadlifts, by using household items you already own, including weighted water jugs or gym bags. This adds additional weight to the exercise, making it a strength training exercise that continuously challenges your muscles.