Exercise for children Is Weight Training Safe


Is Strength Training Safe for Kids?

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For kids, light resistance and controlled movements are best — with a special emphasis on proper technique and safety. Your child can do many strength training exercises with his or her own body weight or inexpensive resistance tubing. Free weights and machine weights are other options.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), strength training which includes lifting free weights, using weight machines, or doing exercises that use elastic tubing or one’s own body. Not only is a well-designed resistance training program safe for kids, it can also provide tremendous health, wellness, and sports performance benefits. Let’s look at some of the myths surrounding strength training and how Nationwide Children’s Hospital can help your child get started with what can.

Strength training is in no way unsafe for children. In fact, children who incorporate strength training into their fitness routine or use strength training as a way to get exercise in can enjoy lots of benefits including (obviously) increased strength, better endurance, stronger bones and even less chance of. Experimental training protocols with weights and resistance machines and with supervision and low instructor/participant ratios are relatively safe and do not negatively impact growth and maturation of pre and early-pubertal youth. So there we go, it is safe, period.

According to research done by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), resistance training is both safe and effective for kids and adolescents. Strength training is associated with a lower risk of injury than participation in sports, and may help in preventing common sports-related. With younger children, it’s important to begin with bodyweight exercises accompanied by lightweight, high repetition strength training. This first process is key because it gradually introduces the body to the stresses of training, emphasizes proper technique and form, and builds a foundational strength base. Many kids don’t know the difference between strength training and weight lifting, and that gets them into trouble, says Griesemer.

During 1991-1996, children under 21 suffered an estimated. Instead, focus on involving your child in strength-training exercises that utilize resistance and your child’s own body weight. Routines including push-ups, sit-ups and light calisthenics are completely safe for children not yet of middle school age.

Not only is strength training safe for kids when done properly, but it also has numerous benefits. As outlined in Doug Dupont ‘s article, Fit Kids Are Healthier and Happier, research suggests kids who are stronger and more conditioned perform better in school and are less likely to engage in unhealthy activities.

List of related literature:

In the beginning of resistance training programs for younger children (5 and 6 years of age), body weight exercises and partner exercises should be used to develop basic strength and prepare them for other resistance exercise programs as they grow older.

“Science and Practice of Strength Training” by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, William J. Kraemer, Andrew C. Fry
from Science and Practice of Strength Training
by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, William J. Kraemer, Andrew C. Fry
Human Kinetics, 2020

Children can safely participate in strength training activities if they are properly instructed and supervised.

“The Essential Guide to Fitness” by Rosemary Marchese, Julie Taylor, Kirsten Fagan
from The Essential Guide to Fitness
by Rosemary Marchese, Julie Taylor, Kirsten Fagan
Cengage Learning Australia, 2019

Despite previous concerns that children would not benefit from resistance exercise or that the risk of injury was too great, clinicians, coaches, and exercise scientists now agree that resistance exercise can be a safe and effective method of conditioning for children (10, 41, 56, 86).

“Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning” by Thomas R. Baechle, Roger W. Earle, National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.)
from Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning
by Thomas R. Baechle, Roger W. Earle, National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.)
Human Kinetics, 2008

Despite traditional concerns associated with youth strength training, research clearly demonstrates that strength training can be a safe, effective, and worthwhile activity for children and adolescents provided that age­appropriate training guidelines are followed.

“Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine” by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
from Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine
by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
SAGE Publications, 2010

The American Academy of Pediatrics5 recommends that strength training regimens for children include activities to provide strength training for all parts of the body to ensure balanced development (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/ abstract/121/4/835).

“Physical Therapy for Children E-Book” by Robert J. Palisano, Suzann K. Campbell, Margo Orlin
from Physical Therapy for Children E-Book
by Robert J. Palisano, Suzann K. Campbell, Margo Orlin
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014

In the past, many fitness and health experts, as well as parents, have feared that strength training is dangerous for children.

“Physical Education for Lifelong Fitness: The Physical Best Teacher's Guide” by Physical Best (Program), Suzan F. Ayers, National Association for Sport and Physical Education, Mary Jo Sariscsany
from Physical Education for Lifelong Fitness: The Physical Best Teacher’s Guide
by Physical Best (Program), Suzan F. Ayers, et. al.
Human Kinetics, 2011

The bottom line is that children can safely perform resistance training, and resistance training can be effective in bringing about strength and fitness gains in children, but some program design and performance considerations are unique to this age group.

“Optimizing Strength Training: Designing Nonlinear Periodization Workouts” by William J. Kraemer, Steven J. Fleck
from Optimizing Strength Training: Designing Nonlinear Periodization Workouts
by William J. Kraemer, Steven J. Fleck
Human Kinetics, 2007

Before your child starts strength training or any other strenuous activity, however, it’s a good idea to talk to your pediatrician.

“Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right: The Food Solution That Lets Kids Be Kids” by Joanna Dolgoff
from Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right: The Food Solution That Lets Kids Be Kids
by Joanna Dolgoff
Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, 2009

• All workouts should be closely supervised by qualified adults, and the exercise environment should be safe and free of hazards.

“Dynamic Physical Education for Elementary School Children” by Robert P. Pangrazi, Aaron Beighle
from Dynamic Physical Education for Elementary School Children
by Robert P. Pangrazi, Aaron Beighle
Human Kinetics, 2019

While training at or near 1RM was previously not recommended (13), new evidence shows that high intensity training is safe in trained and technically competent children (34,74) and may lead to greater improvements in strength and physical performance than lower intensity training (70).

“Conditioning for Strength and Human Performance: Third Edition” by T. Jeff Chandler, Lee E. Brown
from Conditioning for Strength and Human Performance: Third Edition
by T. Jeff Chandler, Lee E. Brown
Taylor & Francis, 2018

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • At my highschool i noticed that most of the kids in weightlifting classes were short and most of them are older than me. Im 15 and 5’8, 125lbs and have tried to hold off on taking a wieght training for as long as possible because i want to wait until i hit my growth spurt to start lifting weights because im afraid it will affect my growth. But my baseball coach is making kids who aren’t in a weight training class go to the weight room in the afternoons.

  • What’s the difference between a farm kid lifting a hay bale or a Maine kid lifting a lobster trap or a kid in the weight room. Not a lot if done sensibly. Make it fun, make it educational, give it purpose and the rest will take care of itself.

  • Yes why not, I don’t now who came up that weight training is not good for kids in terms of growth, however I will say that kids tends to have problem with controlling incentric portion of movment, but that can be easy teach by learning a movment pattern correctly and repetition.

  • I have a flat body and I want to build my muscles especially my glutes. I’ve searched it and have seen many exercises such as squats, hip thrusts, but bridges etc. I’m 15 years old. Would weight lifting (just 6kg) harm my body? Please answer if anyone knows❤

  • You should start training when you hit puberty to amplify muscle gains with testosterone, lifting weights to gain muscle doesnt make sense if you’re pre pubescent, its wasted effort

  • I’m 12 years old I’ve searched that it’s impossible for me to build some muscle I’ve tried now for like a year to build muscle I’ve tried my best got some recovery days, the results were awesome I bench press, curl, squat, and deadlift. If you got some questions I’ll answer. Give your best get the best results.

    Edit: no injuries no trainer or adult only me.

  • People lift weights and eat buch of calories to GAIN weight, not to lose it. If you wanna lose weight don’t waste your money on the gym, go run instead.

  • Thank you so much for this video! The three core exercises helped me so much! l don’t know how to thank you for making this video!

  • If you want to be healthy do cardio and calisthenics,if you want to be slow,stiff,unathletic and have big muscles go and only lift weights

  • I think lifting have a great value, but the best application for kid is volume, so it will allow them to build muscle and perfect the movments without over fatigning by havy weight for example 1RM Max effort.

  • “Should kids/teenagers lift weights?”

    Why would that even a question?
    Kids back in villages are physically tougher than those in the city. Why? Because they lift stuff when they help out in farms, gardens, fields, traditional markets, etc.

  • started my sons early with a junior set to get the form down then up to Olympic bar. Son use to work out with Mark Carter I guess I started them right

  • Lol non of these kids lift weights, they’re all using horrible form. No wonder no parent wants their kid to lift if they bench like that lol.