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​When Should Children Lift Weights? Strength Training for Children

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For years, beauty pageants have thrilled parents of cute young girls, seeking to gain prestige and award for their child's charm and beauty. A recent trend of child bodybuilding and weight training has taken several homes by storm and created a "beauty pageant" experience for elementary-aged boys and girls. Although proud parents encourage their children to develop their talents and skills, this growing trend of the young strength training by lifting weights may end up hurting them in the end if parents, and young boys, are not careful. Build Strength in Boys and Girls Through Bodyweight Exercises

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Should Children Lift Weights?

The debates are endless about if children should lift weights and participate in strength training competition. Some experts (and fitness owners) encourage it - not only because they feel children are developing strong muscles, but fitness outfits are finding a way to make money off of a new generation of young customers. Although a growing trend is weight room training for kids, other medical experts and coaches do not recommend it - including Marlin McQueen, owner of Myosource Ultimate Kinetic Bands and long-time youth sports coach. Bodyweight exercises are a much safer choice.  

Child Weightlifting can be Dangerous

Encouraging children to lift weights, even under adult supervision, can cause several risk factors, including long-term injury. For starters, the muscles of children are not developed enough for weight lifting. If children have never trained in strength, flexibility and endurance through natural body weight movements, they are not prepared for the weight room. This lack of preparation leads to many injuries of children, and especially puts them at risk for long-lasting injury. Children may hurt their growth plates and strain their muscles, preventing them from developing their full strength potential later in life.

Strength Training for Elementary Kids  - Bodyweight Exercises

Weight training in itself is not wrong, but when it comes to children - safety and long-term growth must be taken into account. It is recommended that children do start strength training exercises as young as age 7, and start exercising with bodyweight exercises. The use of kinetic bands / resistance, will help children then be able to perform strength training bodyweight exercises before weight lifting in the weight room begins.

Body Weight Exercises  / Strength Training

Strength Training for children can begin with some basic bodyweight exercises using Kinetic Bands / resistance bands. The bands allow children to use their own body weight as the resistance:

1.push ups

2.chin-ups/pull ups

3.squats

4.lunges

5.box jumps (jump onto something that’s 10-12in. high)

6.punches

7.bench press motions

8.oblique twists

9.crunches

A great thing about Myosource Ultimate Kinetic Bands / resistance bands is that children can start with light resistance and as they get stronger and advance increase resistance. Have children begin performing the exercises with Myosource Ultimate Kinetic Bands / resistance bands. This will begin their strength training through smooth, continuous motions without risk of injury. The safety of our children comes first.

When Should Kids Start Lifting Weights?

Generally, most school districts allow children to start lifting weights around 8th or 9th grade. Often what occurs is beginner weight trainers will enter the weight room with older students, and expect to be at the same weight-lifting level. This is why strength training in young students is critical. One good test is to have a student perform a full set of natural body exercises. If they can't perform them, the student should not be lifting weights yet. When boys have reached high school age, their bodies should be strong enough to begin weight training.

Return of the Playground for Strength Building

A great way to introduce kids to strength training is through outdoor play at the playground. Jungle gyms, and particularly monkey bars, have been building arm, shoulder and back strength in children for decades. This is something small children can participate in for strength training rather than getting young boys under a bench press or into a squat machine, take them to the park and encourage strength building through childhood play and natural ways rather than the weight room. Myosource Ultimate Kinetic Bands / resistance bands can be added once a children turn 7 is physically ready. 

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