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Weight Training for Kids: When Should They Start?

Copyright Raymond Kelly

Weight training and exercise in general can be very beneficial to all children. It increases bone density, increases strength, and improves muscular coordination. In the past many people had concerns about children and exercise but now we are much better informed.

What age should they start?

This is more of an ethical question. A child can start training with weights at any age, but the real question is: should they? Providing they have a well-designed program and constant supervision by a qualified trainer they will achieve benefits from weight training. But before you do start your child with weights consider what they are trying to achieve.

  • If it is to improve their sport, then you will find that concentrating more on the skills of the sport, rather than strength will usually provide faster improvements.
  • If you are looking to build muscle and strength, then it? no good starting them with weights until they start producing testosterone. This is usually between 14-17 years.

Making Weight Lifting Safe for Kids

  • Make sure your child has a positive experience with exercise by following these guidelines:
  • All equipment should be safe and inspected regularly for defects.
  • Training equipment should be located in an uncrowded area.
  • The child must have the emotional maturity to follow instructions relating to technique and safety.
  • There must be adequate supervision of the child by an experienced and registered Trainer to ensure correct technique is used.
  • Training should start with a thorough warm-up and finished with a thorough cool-down.
  • No weight should be added to the exercise until the child can perform it with correct technique.
  • Full range of motion must be performed on all exercises. If this cannot be done then the weight is too heavy.
  • No maximum lifts or competitions should be attempted.
  • Full body programs are advised. These should be done 2-3 times per week.
  • The child should perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
  • The weight should only be increased when the child can perform 15 repetitions with correct technique.
  • Make It Fun!!!!!

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About the Author

Ray has worked extensively in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years. He has a degree in Exercise Science and is a Level 2 Strength and Conditioning coach.