We get this question all the time: “When should my young athlete start lifting weights?”
With young kids competing in sports and wanting to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle, it’s essential to know when it’s safe to start strength training and weightlifting. Teens and preteens can benefit from weightlifting by building strength and improving their posture, body composition, and self-image. Kids of this age will primarily notice an improvement in their strength, rather than a build-up of bulky muscles. For those concerned weightlifting will affect a child’s growth, know that we keep our young athletes very safe by allowing only age-appropriate exercises under our professional supervision.
Weightlifting for Kids Ages 8-14
At Apex, we encourage kids ages 8-14 to start lifting weights. We take it easy getting started and add weight only when and if appropriate.
Start With Slow and Light Weights
We begin by practicing each exercise with no load or resistance, other than their own body weight, while they are learning the movement. Once they can demonstrate mastery of the movement with their own body weight, we add light weights. We don’t believe in adding heavy load to young weightlifters, because it can result in more harm than good. We also urge parents to beware of any coaching program that encourages heavy weights.
Use Proper Form
Anyone who has lifted weights knows it is more important to perform the exercise correctly and with proper form than with any weights at all. With kids, we emphasize technique and make sure they have mastered the movement before adding weights.
Warmup and Cooldown
As with any exercise routine, our youth weight training sessions include a warmup and cooldown. The purpose of the warmup is to increase the temperature and flexibility of the muscles, while the cooldown includes stretches to help reduce the build-up of lactic acid in muscle tissue.
Questions? Contact Us at Apex Personal Training
If your junior athlete would like to start lifting weights to help them move better, feel better and perform better in sports, contact us at Apex Personal Training. We would love to discuss our approach to youth strength training with you.