Many people, sadly still including some healthcare professionals, believe that children must not do strength training.
Usually this comes from a belief that it can damage growth plates or be ineffective due to a lack of testosterone.
Fortunately both these things are untrue.
Studies have shown that children can improve strength by 30-50% after following a well designed strength programme for 8-12 weeks.
Growth plate injuries happen very rarely (and can happen with other sport) and are attributed to poor technique, lifting inappropriate amounts of weight and lack of supervision.
Some people also believe it can lead to body dysmorphia, disordered eating and steroid use. Sadly again this happens across many sports.
Strength training can have many benefits for children including:
❤️ Improved health, strength and fitness
? Improved mental health
? Increased bone density
?? Improved confidence and self esteem
?? Increased resilience
? Reduced risk of injury
⚖️ Help maintain a healthy weight
?♂️ Improved sports performance
As soon as children are able to play organised sports and activity around 7-8 years old they can start strength training.
This should be age appropriate starting with body weight movement competency before progressing to free weights/machines/medicine balls etc.
Children’s strength programmes should be designed for their age, stage and ability and adjusted around growth spurts, exams and sports specific training and competition. And there should always be sufficient adult supervision.
Like all sports there are certain medical conditions that would limit strength training and it is advised that children should not do powerlifting or bodybuilding until skeletally mature.
The risks for strength training are no more than any other sports and there are many many benefits.
If you are looking to start strength training with your child ensure you seek the support of a properly qualified coach to help you with a suitable programme.