Myth and Fact: Lifting Weights and Training Will Stunt a Childs Growth
It’s natural for kids to play, run, roughhouse, jump, get hurt, and bounce right back. All this helps develop motor skills, prevent injuries and muscle imbalances, and perform better. Playing on jungle gyms, running, and wrestling are all forms of body weight training which children begin to do as soon as they are able to. Taking it back further babies are performing bodyweight training when they learn to crawl, sit down, stand up, and walk, and they do this all with natural instinctive form. Our bodies are made to adapt to stimulus whether its bodyweight or weighted training, our bodies will move and strengthen in the movement patterns being trained. Research shows that strength and preparatory plyometric training are appropriate for kids, and starting them training young will allow them to accumulate training years so that they reach a high level athleticism sooner. Two recent studies show that strength training is appropriate for youth of all ages, and a wealth of evidence suggests they can start performing age-appropriate training as early as age 7 or 8. Researchers highlight the need to accumulate training years and learn technique in order to achieve peak levels of strength for the more competitive high school and college sporting years. By starting at 7 or 8, youth can have 10 years of training behind them at age 17. Take away the understanding that strength and plyometric training is appropriate and ideal for kids as long as it is programmed and taught appropriately. Training should be serious but enjoyable, and begin with a focus on learning technique, improving movement patterns and the basic skills of running, jumping, throwing, and hopping.