Training For Warriors Brooklyn

Can Children Lift Weights Safely?

TFW Brooklyn Can Children Lift Weights?
08 Jan
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail Developing a habit of exercise in children from an early age is a great idea. You may have heard the old myth: Resistance training from an early age stunts growth and is not beneficial because children cannot build muscle. naltrexone canada FALSE! We’ve heard this one more times than we can count. But we did our research! Children can lift weights! (see the sources at the bottom of this article)

that site First of all, let us start by stating that resistance and strength training are the same thing. When we talk about “children,” we mean between the ages of 5-17.

Are There Problems with Children Who Lift Weights?

It was believed that working out can damage an area of the bone called the epiphyseal plate or growth plate. Growth plates are developing tissue that lengthen as the child reaches maturity. Once bone growth ceases, these plates harden and become part of the bone. It is true that the growth plate is not strong, and can get fractured. But strength training does not cause growth plate fractures.

The most common causes for growth plate injuries are falls or twists that are a result of contact sports such as football, lacrosse, or soccer, fast sports liking snowboarding, cycling or sledding, and sports that require repetitive movements like baseball, gymnastics, or track and field. Essentially, any activity that has a risk of injuring an adult, can also injure a child.

Put simply, there have been no official reports of stunted growth as a direct result of resistance training. For some that may be hard to believe. But the fact is that growth plate injuries happen from contact sports, not proper form strength training.

In fact, a structured resistance training program may help prevent injuries in children. This is because of neuromuscular adaptations that occur from regular strength training. Children will not normally build much muscle because they are still maturing, and their hormones are not at levels that can really produce much muscle. This is not to say that some won’t have visible muscle, children whose body fat percentage is low enough can still have visible muscle definition.

The inability to really grow muscles is another reason some are lead to believe that resistance training should be avoided. If no visible growth can be accomplished then they must not be doing anything of significance. This is wrong again, and we go back to neuromuscular adaptations.

Neuromuscular adaptations are those that occur internally and link the different systems of the body together, think muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. Basically these adaptations will help stabilize the body in space and aide in force production. This means firing the right muscles, in the right order, and at the right time to accomplish whatever movement pattern desired.  nizral shampoo price Basically strength training helps children become stronger, more coordinated, have more endurance, strengthens their bones, and improve athletic abilityall good things.

How Can My Children Use Resistance Training?

Resistance training in children will focus on body weight movements or lightly loaded movements.

Examples include:

  • Pushups
  • Pullups
  • Situps
  • Crunches
  • Back extensions
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Step Ups
  • Dips
  • Burpees

Equipment used can be:

  • Swiss balls
  • Bands
  • Light barbells
  • Dumbbells

At first, the program should be focused on increasing endurance. Start slow and work your way up. Repetitions of movements are kept high at around 15+ and you can work on going up to two to three sets. Workouts should be done no more than three times per week. As he or she develops, more advanced movements can be included.

recruit NSCA’s Recommendations for Youth Strength training₁

  • All athletes should be taught proper exercise and spotting technique. Exercises should initially be taught with no load to allow proper technique to be learned.
  • All training sessions should be supervised by an experienced fitness professional.
  • Each child should be physically and emotionally prepared to participate in a strength training program. Also consider the athlete’s maturity level when introducing more advanced exercises.
  • Children should have realistic expectations/goals.
  • The exercise area should be safe and free from hazards.
  • Every exercise session should be preceded by approximately five-10 minutes of a general warm-up, followed by several sport specific warm-up exercises performed at a light intensity.
  • Equipment should be properly sized for a child.
  • Begin lifting, preferably, with body weight exercises. Athletes can also engage in basic machine exercises if they use light loads that allow the athlete to complete 12-15 repetitions.
  • The program should progress to ultimately encourage athletes to perform one-three sets of the exercises on two-three non-consecutive days. Each set should consist of six-15 repetitions.
  • Never increase the load being lifted by more than five percent for upper body or 10 percent for lower body exercises.
  • Competition between children should be discouraged since this may lead to athletes performing maximum lifts.
  • Strength training should be stopped at any sign of injury and the child should be evaluated prior to re-entering the strength program.
  • Never force a child to participate in a resistance-training program.
  • Keep the program fun.

For help developing a strength training program for your child, check out The American Academy of Pediatrics’ app (IronKids) or ask a trainer.

Are you ready to Bring the Warrior Out with Your Kids? Contact us about children’s plans, and sign yourself up for The 30-DAY GET LEAN IN 2016 STARTER CHALLENGE and get in the best shape of your life in 2016!



NSCA Quick Series Guide to Weight Training for Kids: A summary of The National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Youth Strength Summit. Savannah, GA. July 1999.


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