Should children lift weights? Is it safe?
Short answer : YES, if you know what you’re doing 🤓
I work with a wide range of youth athletes and I always incorporate resistance training into their programs🤘🏻
Let’s start with the myths
Will weight lifting stunt your growth?
There is NO evidence out there that shows weight lifting stunts your growth. This is an outdated and misleading myth regarding potentially fracturing a childs growth plate or fusing them prematurely🧐
A growth plate fracture has not been reported in ANY study. Furthermore, these are very rare and would require a severe amount of force, which is WAY more than any child would experience when lifting light weights 🏋🏻♀
What age should a child start?
Just because weight lifting is safe, does not mean you can put your child on a regimented weight program where the weight is progressively increased.
Young children should only lift light resistance through a small amount of sets until they have reached ‘Tanner Stage 4’ on the puberty scale where their bodies are more developed and are able to produce the hormones needed to progress and recover in-between sessions ✅
So the age your child starts weight training properly will be purely dependent on puberty 🔞
Is weight lifting dangerous?
Your child is more likely to get injured playing sport than they are when lifting weights 🏋🏻♀
When I work with youth athletes we start at step one and work our way through 👌🏻
STEP ONE: how well they move
STEP TWO: how well they move with load
STEP THREE: moving that load with complexity and speed💥
Weightlifting is not dangerous as long as the child performs with perfect technique and within their weight zone ✅
A fully qualified strength and conditioning coach should ALWAYS be present when children are lifting weights 🏋🏻♀
Benefits of weight training for children include; improved muscular strength, muscular endurance, bone strength, fitness habit for the future, physical fitness, motor unit activation, motor skill coordination and better weight maintenance 🏆
I hope you have found this article useful. If you have any questions regarding this topic please drop me an email.
Toby Wood – BSc / MSc Strength Coach