Denver, CO: Fall means back to school, and for many families with children it also means the start of team sports. Do you know how to help your child safely strength train? The following may be helpful to you and your child:
The Rules of Safe Lifting
Doctors once feared lifting weights would stunt children’s growth or harm developing skeletons. Now a panel of experts has released a report with the opposite conclusion: Resistance training can actually boost kids’ bone health. Kids don’t even have to wait until puberty, as most have the balance, focus, maturity and desire to start strength training by age 7 or 8. Safe resistance training uses dumbbells, weight machines, free weights, resistance tubes or bands or even a child’s own body weight to build strength.
With that in mind, all safe and successful routines have some common components:
- Proper Supervision: Your child should lift only under the guidance of a qualified coach or personal trainer. Look for a pro with experience guiding young exercisers and in group training, the coach should supervise no more than 10 kids at a time.
- Child-Sized Equipment: Machines and weights made for adults increase injury risk.
- Moderate Intensity Levels: Kids should start with weights they can comfortably lift eight to fifteen times, and should always stop if they feel any pain.
- Consistency: Aim for two or three 20-30 minute sessions per week.
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