Is Weight Training Good or Bad for Kids?

Reference:Behringer M, et al Effects of resistance training in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2010 Nov;126(5):e1199-210.

We have all heard people say, lifting weight or high-level resistance training is not safe for kids or teens as it can stunt their growth …Myth or fact?

This 2010 systematic review states that lifting weights before puberty has not been shown to stunt growth or damage the growth plates.

There is in fact overwhelming evidence that resistance training / athletic training pre-puberty strengthens muscles and increases the size of bones. Children who start training while they are still growing therefore have an advantage over those who start training after puberty.(Guess at what age the Chinese Olympians start training?)

The three-time Olympic gold Turkish weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu is probably the greatest weightlifter who ever lived, and he started lifting weights when he was 8 years old.

Personal Comment: The biggest danger of starting kids with high-level competitive athletics is not physical but mental! Children are sometimes unfortunately subjected to unreasonable coaches and inconsiderate parents who place excessive pressures on them which often leads to burnout.

Posted on: October 06, 2012

Categories: Relevant Physical Therapy Articles

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