- Lifting heavy weights can harm children's growth plates.halt??rophilie image by Danielle Bonardelle from Fotolia.com
Strength Training Is OK for Young Kids
- Strength training differs from traditional weight training. Instead of focusing on lifting free weights or using weight machines, beginning strength training involves exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups. Kids Health, an online publication of the educationally oriented Nemours Foundation, says that children as young as 7 can benefit from these kind of exercises if they are learned properly and are part of an exercise program designed for children. However, lifting heavy weights can injure children's growth plates even into their teen years.
Wait Until Puberty for Weight Training
- The athletics page of the website Careers and Colleges as well as the website Body Building for You say that children can begin lifting weights at about age 14, after reaching puberty. Increases in muscle mass don't occur until children start producing testosterone. But both websites recommend limiting lifting to lighter weights.
- Children need exercise regimens that are closely monitored and designed specifically for kids. Instead of heavy weightlifting, these plans should focus on learning proper technique for strength-training activities such as multiple sets of resistance stretches with exercise bands and repetitions with light hand weights.