Kids: Getting Muscles

Growing muscles is not for only for body builders. Growing muscles is for everyone, including little boys and girls.

Our muscles

The muscles are the reason why we are able to move at all. Anything that you conceive with your brain will be expressed through muscle movement.

Muscles are very important because they are involved in almost all the body’s functions. They turn fuel – the energy we get from food – into movement, they keep your heart beating and even your blood flowing. What’s even more amazing about muscles is that they are self-healing and grow bigger and stronger with continual use.

Kinds of muscles

When we use the term "muscles", images of men and women with huge muscular arms and legs come to mind. However, there are 3 kinds of muscles in the body:

Cardiac muscles – cardiac muscles are found only in your heart. Cardiac muscles can stretch in a limited way, and they contract, involuntarily – meaning you don’t think about moving them, your nervous system controls them automatically – but with the force of skeletal muscles.

Smooth muscles – smooth muscles are the those that can be found in the blood vessels, the bladder, airways, the digestive system and the uterus. Smooth muscles contract involuntarily. They can stretch and maintain tension for long periods of time, like how your stomach muscles contract all day long, without you having to think about it.

Skeletal muscles – skeletal muscles are the ones that you can see on body builders. Skeletal muscles are attached to the skeleton and come in pairs: one pulls the skeleton one way, and the other pulls it back the other way. Skeletal muscles contract voluntarily – you think about contracting them, then your nervous system tells them to do so. They can do a single contraction (a twitch) or a long sustained contraction (a condition called tetanus).

How to grow muscles as kids

As children, you not need to lift weights to get muscles. You just have to eat right and enjoy your playtime.

What to eat – to help your muscles grow strong, you need to eat foods with lots of protein, like egg and meat. You should also eat foods that contain iron. As part of both myoglobin in the muscles and hemoglobin in the blood, iron carries oxygen throughout the body and boosts immune function and metabolism. But, your muscles, and the rest of your body, need plenty of other nutrients to grow strong and healthy, so you should eat other kinds of food.

Playing and being active

This is why you don’t need to lift weights like adults to build muscle. Kids’ bodies are not yet developed enough to be able to grow muscles like grownups do. So for kids to grow muscles, all they need to do is move around and use their muscles to make them grow stronger.