Muscles used in running
Question: When should me child/young athlete start weight lifting?
Answer: Between the ages of 14 and 17.
Question: Well weight lifting harm my child's growth plates?
Answer: That is a myth, and here's why?
Weight lifting and the effects of the growth plate.
One misunderstanding concerns strength training and growth plate injuries. ... The rare case reports of epiphyseal plate fractures related to strength training are attributed to misusing equipment, lifting inappropriate amounts of weight, using improper technique, or training without qualified adult supervision.
Strength training: OK for kids?
Strength training offers kids many benefits, but there are important caveats to keep in mind. Here's what you need to know about youth strength training.
Strength training for kids? You bet! Done properly, strength training offers many benefits to young athletes. Strength training is even a good idea for kids who simply want to look and feel better. In fact, strength training might put your child on a lifetime path to better health and fitness.
Strength training, not weightlifting
For kids, what are the benefits of strength training?
- Increase your child's muscle strength and endurance
- Help protect your child's muscles and joints from sports-related injuries
- Improve your child's performance in nearly any sport, from dancing and figure skating to football and soccer
- Develop proper techniques that your child can continue to use as he or she grows older
- Strengthen your child's bones
- Help promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Help your child maintain a healthy weight
- Improve your child's confidence and self-esteem
When can a child begin strength training?
You might also check with your child's doctor for the OK to begin a strength training program, especially if your child has a known or suspected health problem — such as a heart condition, high blood pressure or a seizure disorder.
What's the best way to start a strength training program for kids?
- Seek instruction. Start with a coach or personal trainer who has experience with youth strength training. The coach or trainer can create a safe, effective strength training program based on your child's age, size, skills and sports interests. Or enroll your child in a strength training class designed for kids.
- Warm up and cool down. Encourage your child to begin each strength training session with five to 10 minutes of light aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging in place or jumping rope. This warms the muscles and prepares them for more vigorous activity. Gentle stretching after each session is a good idea, too.
- Keep it light. Kids can safely lift adult-size weights, as long as the weight is light enough. In most cases, one set of 12 to 15 repetitions is all it takes. The resistance doesn't have to come from weights, either. Resistance tubing and body-weight exercises, such as pushups, are other effective options.
- Stress proper technique. Rather than focusing on the amount of weight your child lifts, stress proper form and technique during each exercise. Your child can gradually increase the resistance or number of repetitions as he or she gets older.
- Supervise. Adult supervision by someone who knows proper strength training technique is an important part of youth strength training. Don't let your child go it alone.
- Rest between workouts. Make sure your child rests at least one full day between exercising each specific muscle group. Two or three strength training sessions a week are plenty.
- Keep it fun. Help your child vary the routine to prevent boredom.