Advice on Strength Training For Children
Not to be confused with weight-lifting, strength training with free weights, weight machines and resistance bands can offer many benefits to children including increased muscle strength and an overall improvement to health and fitness.
Is Weight Lifting Safe for Kids?
Weight lifting, body building and power lifting can put too much stress on young developing muscles, as well as areas of cartilage that haven’t yet turned to bone (growth plates). However, supervised strength training offers improved sports performance, increased bone mineral density, improved cardiovascular fitness, improved posture, improved body image, improved motor skills and a reduction of the risk of sport related injuries.
Children should use light resistance and controlled movements and an adult should supervise children at all times to ensure they use the proper technique, and don’t over exert themselves so that injuries are prevented in the long run.
What Age Can Children Begin Strength Training?
It is recommended that strength training can be commenced around 7-8 years of age following a ten-minute warm up. A professional should provide a specific strength-training programme and once 15 repetitions can be performed, the weight can be increased by 10%.
If you feel your child would benefit from a strengthening programme please get in touch and our specialist physiotherapists will be able to provide your child with an appropriate programme.
Post by Victoria Healey, Head of Paediatric Physiotherapy at Physiocomestoyou.