Should kids lift weights?

30 Oct 2014 | Personal Training, Strength & Conditioning

Should kids lift weights?

This has always been a controversial topic, especially when you’re asking the parents of those kids in question.

The main issue surrounding kids and teenagers lifting weights is that their growth plates have not fully developed and may become damaged, hence affecting the child’s growth. While this is true to some degree, the growth plates will only become damaged when excessive weight is used and there is improper technique.

My opinion has always been that if your kids are helping you with the shopping bags, lifting the sofa for you, jumping and playing in the back yard or even playing simple sports, then they are already inadvertently lifting weights. What’s even more to the point is that it is in an un-controlled environment.

Therefore if you get them into the gym in a controlled environment with appropriate amounts of weight and proper technique, then surely this is good for them. Well the facts are that it is good for them. Proper strength training by a professional provides a strong foundation for children to be able to handle the day to day use of the muscles in a real life application. For example if a child jumps off a chair onto the ground then the forces going through their knees are far more than say doing a squat in the gym.

Make sure kids do exercise focussed on natural movement or movement where they can use this strengthening in their normal games and sports. Strength training should not be confused with bodybuilding or weight lifting which are not recommended for kids and teens.

Once again a properly supervised environment where a trainer has a thorough knowledge of adolescent growth patterns is preferable to just going to a gym.

It is always advisable to have a professional do a physical examination before commencing any strength training. It must also be remembered that any strength training should be part of a total regime which includes ensuring you are giving advice on good diet and a healthy mental attitude.

Holistic Physio Fitness has the right training and awareness of kid’s health to be able to assist with a program. Call Andrew to have a chat on 9999 6666.