Your Child CAN Start Weight Lifting
If your child is interested in lifting weights or joining a fitness class, you might be wondering if it is safe for kids to lift weights. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, strength training is safe for kids 8 years and over. Strength or resistance training may involve free weights, weight machines, resistance bands or body weight.
Here, 3 things to keep in mind when considering if weight lifting is right for your child.
- Weight lifting might prevent sports injuries. If your child is already active and participating in sports, weight lifting might prevent injuries. Strength training promotes bone density, cardiac fitness and body composition. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that strength training may help prevent some of the 3.5 million sports related injuries to children per year.
- Pick the right class. If your child is interesting in lifting weights, find a class or trainer that specializes in working with children. Children have specific needs, and know your child. A child should be able to follow directions and have the desire to participate in the activity. Very intense classes like CrossFit are not appropriate for children.
- Look for these criteria. A good strength-training program for children includes active games, 20 to 25 minutes of weight training and activities focused on building motor skills. Resistance band, child-sized machines and dumbbells help kids start low and build strength. Look for a program where the coach to student ratio is 1:10 or less.
Our health coach can help you select the right fitness classes for your family’s needs and schedule. Schedule an appointment today to start off on the right foot for fall!
Karen L. Leibowitz, MD
Health and Medical Coach