As if it’s not bad enough watching personal trainers destroy their client’s joints with their “go hard or go home Youtube workouts,” it’s much more trying and frustrating for me to see a trainer taking years off a kid’s mobility by the way they train them. Believe me; I’d like nothing more than to step in and ask the trainer, “What the hell are you thinking?”
I know it may seem like a great idea to put your kid’s health in the hands of a personal trainer, but chances are…it’s one of the worst decisions you could make, and your kid is going to pay for it with a future riddled with orthopaedic visits and a lifetime of joint pain.
If you’re having your kid workout with a personal trainer, sit in on one of their sessions and take this list with you. If you see any of these things I have listed, you need to grab your kid, walk out, never go back, and call me.
A Fast Track to Busted Joints
- Bad Form – If your kid is weight training and not taking 4-5 seconds for every single repetition and not pausing between every rep, they are negatively impacting their joints and injury and pain are not far behind. Every single rep can cause irreparable damage
- Cheating and Forced Reps – If the trainer is helping your kid get “extra reps” after they are fatigued, and if your kid is bending their backs, jerking, popping, or swinging during any exercise, it’s simply a matter of time before they have a major injury which will affect them for a lifetime.
- Squatting Incorrectly – This is a BIG ONE! This is where many young backs and knees are destroyed. If I had a kid under the age of 16, I would not let them squat with a barbell across the back of their neck. I would have them do body weight squats and maybe hold a light dumbbell in each hand by their sides for resistance but nothing across their necks. Bad Move! And for those over 16, I would make sure their knees never go out beyond their toes, they don’t bounce at the bottom like 99% of them do, their backs are in perfect position and not rounded, and they control the resistance perfectly with every single repetition.
- If it Looks Like a Circus, it Probably is – I see this a lot as well. Trainers will line up several exercises and the kid blows through them without good form and technique, elbows and knees flying all over the place, and they go until they are worn out. No! This is not the way to train. In addition to going slow with resistance exercises, agility exercises should always be done with correct posture, body alignment, and body control. This is where ankles, knees, and backs take a big hit on a young person.
- Diagnosing Injuries – This one is really straight forward: If a trainer even attempts to diagnose an injury on your kid, rehabilitate an injury, or has your kid work through any amount of pain…grab your kid and leave.
- Neglecting Heart Rate Checks – Regardless of age, everyone should closely monitor their heart rates before, during, and after exercise. If your kid’s trainer isn’t doing this, ask them why? Heart rates will tell you if your kid is over doing it which is a big contributor to joint and soft tissue damage.
- Is Your Kid in Pain? – Sit down with your kid and ask them if they ever have pain during or after their exercise session? If the answer is yes, pull them out of training and go see the orthopaedic.
Believe me when I tell you there are many, many more issues to be discussed with this topic, but these are the biggest problems with kids using personal trainers. Whatever you do, don’t judge the ability of a trainer on how fit they look, how many certifications they have, or how well they get along with your kid because none of these mean much at all. If you will print this list out, take it with you to your kid’s next session, and watch closely for these very common joint busting methods of exercise, you’ll more than likely have an eye opening experience. And most importantly, your kid won’t end up paying an arm and a leg to be “fit”.
Bobby Whisnand, “The Exercise Doctor”
Disclaimer: Bobby Whisnand and his trainers are not medical doctors. They do not prescribe any medical treatment or medication and do not diagnose any health conditions, injuries, or pain. They are Certified Specialists in Exercise Therapy and can work in conjunction with doctors, surgeons, and physical therapists.