Upper body strength - 11 year old

Discussion in 'General Taekwondo Discussions' started by Brian S, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Brian S

    Brian S New Member

    Greetings everyone,

    My oldest son, who is 11 has been taking tae kwon do since he was 6. From what I can tell, his dojo is pretty conservative and the instructors are well respected. Unlike most of our other local studios, they are not a belt factory and you must work and train hard for your belts. This is good and what we want. It teaches hard work and dedication.

    However, he has reached a point or plateau and has become very frustrated. Basically, to get to his next strip level, he needs to do 50 push-ups in a set time. He's been training hard but just doesn't have the upper body strength at this time. The sit-up requirement is no problem. He also knows the skillsets he needs at this level.

    This seems to be a difficulty for lots of boys his age at the studio. The girls, who are mostly lighter, seem to have an easier time of it at this age (10-11). Once the boys hit 13-14, it they develop more physically and again this become easier but at 11, it's tough. As he's stuck at this stripe, he can't train/learn beyond it and he's very frustrated. he's been stuck here for a year. I don't want him to burn out and/or quit.

    Any suggestions on what he can do to work on this? Is this a common issue for 11-12 year old boys?

  3. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    Frankly, situps, crunches, pushups and most calisthenics are not good as they are done. Over time, musle imbalances occur. If you do tonnes of crunches then back issues are more likely without back strengthening.

    Mostly, calisthenics are, I feel, more about stamina and endurance after a time. To do 50 pushups, the answer is simple: do pushups and do them properly. If your arms form an uppercase T, they are wrong. Put your hands under your shouldsrs withe the fingers turned slightly inward. Turning the hands make elbows move out to the required 45 degrees.

    As to situps, they are NOT an abdominal exercise, if done the proper way, and create tight hip flexors and potential lower back problems if the crunches tip is not done.
  4. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member


    How many push-ups can he do now?

    What is the time requirement?

    How is he approaching the training/test now?
  5. Matt

    Matt Member

    Just putting it out there, but I do not believe in fitness testing being a requirement for rank. If you ask a 10 year old testing for black belt to run 3 miles than do 50 push ups, than you should ask the same of the 60 year old testing for black belt. I see no point to it. Taekwondo is made for everyone to be able to do. I know some master that are amazing at what they do. However, I bet they could not do a lot of the physical requirements that some schools require.
  6. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member


    that is your response?

    So a guy came on the forum asking for advice and then you come on with the most irrelevant stuff you could manage.

    how is telling him that you do believe in fitness testing helping him or his son at all?
  7. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    Matt I am sure all clubs are different, in ours we have fitness tests, but the difference is that we compete against ourselves. starting as a white belt, you do the maximum amount of press ups, sit ups, mountain climbs, squat thrusts, and squats. Its noted, then at the next grading you are expected to do more, so if you start off at say 10 press ups, the next grade you should be able to do more, say 15, this takes into account the persons age and relative fitness from blue belt it is timed. . we think its fair.

    Brian, my son is older than yours, and had the same problem, although as I wrote above we do not have a set number of exercises at each grade only that you can do more at each grade, he was stuck at press ups, we used the pyramid.

    he started off at 1 press up. then, 1,2, then 1,2,3 up to ten, starting at one each time, if he couldn't do any more normal press ups then he would do them on his knees, until he finished, or as close to it as he could, the first few times he could get to set five, with a short break between sets total 15 press ups. he did this every day, in five days he was up to set 7, the last few on his knees, in two weeks he was going the lot, no knees. total 55 press ups, no breaks. remember to keep the body flat, and breath correctly. He still does them every other day now, but has gone up to 15 sets. mixing them with sit ups, at the same time IE 2 press ups then 2 sit ups as part of each set. I hope that makes sense to you.


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