By Jess Tailhardat
So I’m sure all of us have grown up hearing our parents, coaches, mentors saying, “kids shouldn’t lift weights” or “weight lifting stunts growth” or “weight lifting could injure your child.” I know, personally, growing up as a gymnast, I heard some extent of that all the time. I was a very muscularly developed child, even though all we did was body weight training. Within the past ten to fifteen years, there have been many studies to disprove this misconception. Weight lifting actually has many benefits for kids, the key is to make it fun and enjoyable while also staying safe.
A few key benefits include:
• Increased muscle mass, strength, muscular endurance
• Increased body awareness
• Increased motor control
• Increased neural recruitment
• Increased mobility/ range of motion (if done correctly)
• Increased bone density
While all these physical benefits will help your child long-term in his/her growth and development, strength training can also potentially help the child’s self-confidence. A feeling of self-awareness and more body control will help the child understand how to move better and in many cases be a better athlete in their respective sports. Team sports tend to focus on more specific skills based learning and the objective of team victory. While these can also help with aspects such as teamwork, commitment, and discipline, I feel as though weight training can be a personal win and goal set that is much more individualized.
With this all being said, it all comes down to what your child enjoys. I will always be an advocate for kids staying active and finding past-times not involving being a coach potato. If weight training can help your child be a more balanced, self-aware, and move more efficiently in their life and sport, don’t be afraid to get them to the gym with you!
We at pulse love seeing you bring your sons and daughters for a fun workout! Contact us for more information on our training programs.