When When should children start lifting weights Kids Start Lifting Weights? 349: Is This a Date or Not? Should You Live Together Before Marriage?
Maybe you’ve been following a barbell training program for a while now. Maybe you do your workouts in a garage gym at home, and your curious kids have been hanging out with you while you exercise and cheering you on for getting swol. Maybe they’ve even wanted to imitate you, and would like to start lifting weights just like Dad. You start letting them hoist an empty bar a few times, and they feel like they’re ready for more.
But your wife catches wind of what you and the gang have been up to and starts raising Mom concerns. Is it safe for kids to lift weights? Bless Mom’s heart, but she needn’t be worried. Below we deconstruct the myths about kids and weightlifting and discuss how to safely get your kiddos started with pumping a little iron. The Myths About Kids And Weightlifting Weightlifting can stunt a child’s growth. This is probably the most common fear surrounding kids and weightlifting. Supposedly, if a child lifts weights it can stunt their growth in a couple of ways.
First, there’s concern that weightlifting will cause the growth plates in a child’s bones to fuse together prematurely, which will in turn hinder their overall growth. The other concern is that weightlifting can somehow fracture growth plates, and consequently stunt growth that way. But no proof exists that either of these worries are valid. Further, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, a growth plate fracture from weightlifting hasn’t been reported in any research study.
In a Barbell Medicine podcast on this topic, Dr. So don’t worry about weightlifting stunting your child’s growth. Okay, weightlifting may not stunt a kid’s growth, but doesn’t the activity carry other dangers? Couldn’t children hurt their back, pull a muscle, injure their rotator cuff, damage their tendons, etc. In fact, your kid is more likely to get injured playing soccer or baseball than they are lifting weights.
Contrary to popular belief, weightlifting is one of the safest physical activities to take part in, for folks of any age. In my podcast interview with Dr. Feigenbaum, he highlighted research that shows that the injury rate for weightlifting injuries per thousand participation hours pales in comparison to injuries in other supposedly kid friendly sports. Bottom line: when done with proper form and supervision, weightlifting is an incredibly safe activity for your kid to do. At What Age Can a Child Start a Serious Weightlifting Program? So weightlifting is safe for your kids — it won’t stunt their growth, and they won’t kill themselves doing it. That means you should definitely start your eight-year-old on the Starting Strength program, right?
Stage 4 on the Tanner Puberty Scale. When a teenager is in Tanner Stage 4, they’re basically in full-blown puberty. Pubic hair is adult-like in both males and females. Generally, children enter Tanner Stage 4 between ages 11 and 17. You might have a 12-year-old who’s in Tanner Stage 4 and physically ready to train when they’re in sixth grade. But you also might have a child who’s a late bloomer and won’t be ready to train until they’re a junior in high school. Let your child’s physical maturity determine when they start a dedicated training program.