With kids either already back in school or heading back shortly, that means fall sports are already in full swing.
No matter what sport your child might be playing, it’s a good bet some sort of weightlifting regimen is associated with it.
But should a child wait until they reach a certain age before starting to lift weights?
Here is some advice if you want your child to get into a workout regimen of lifting weights, according to Children’s Health.
What age is best for a child to start?
There’s really no set age to start and it often depends on a child’s physical development, but starting to do so at ages 7 or 8 if a child is starting to get into sports is generally OK. However, that is only if a child is willing start with the right principles, which leads us to the next question.
What are some best practices?
When a child starts out, the objective shouldn’t be solely about lifting as much weight as possible. It should be about learning the proper technique of exercises and getting into a process of slowly building strength, especially with the body still growing and muscles/bones developing.
Knowing how to properly do squats, lunges, bench presses or push-ups, and to do so at an appropriate weight, can reduce risk of pain or injuries later on.
With the foundation of knowing proper lifting techniques that reduce the risk of injuries already in place, a child can then focus more on lifting heavier weight as they progress to the tween and teen years.
Will lifting weights stunt growth or development?
There are fears from some that since a child’s bones, muscles, joints and cartilage are developing through puberty, lifting weights could be detrimental.
But as long as a child masters proper technique for exercises and a proper diet is being followed, lifting can actually strengthen muscles and bones even as a child’s body continuously transforms.
What are the benefits of weightlifting?
Getting a child into lifting weights can have several benefits, not limited to but including:
- Stronger muscles and body tone.
- Better odds of a healthier weight.
- Less risk of injuries.
- More self-confidence both on and off a playing surface.
Do you have any advice for getting children into a regimen of lifting weights? Let us know in the comments below.