As parents, it’s natural to be concerned about the safety of your children. While strength training in teens has been growing in popularity, some parents still hold concerns about whether it is safe for their child. Does lifting weights stunt growth? Is the gym safe? What age is strength training appropriate?
Studies and research suggest that young people can begin strength training when they are seven to eight years old. When done with proper form and supervision, it is safe for youth to lift weights and can actually have a number of benefits.
Strength training helps build a strong foundation in young people for a healthy future. Here’s why it’s important:
- Muscle Development: Strength training is an effective way to build muscle, which is essential for better posture, reduced risk of injury, and improved physical performance.
- Injury Prevention: Properly structured strength training can help reduce the risk of sports-related injuries. Young athletes in particular are encouraged to incorporate strength training into their routines to avoid injury.
- Bone Health: During adolescence, bones are still growing and strengthening. Weight-bearing exercises, such as strength training, are beneficial for optimal bone development and increase bone strength index (BSI).
- Fitness: Strength training complements cardiovascular fitness, promoting a well-rounded approach to physical health.
- Coordination: Better balance and stability can be achieved through strength training, offering numerous benefits both in everyday life and sport.
- Self-esteem: Strength training can boost confidence in young people and give them an interest in fitness that can set them up for a lifetime of healthy habits
At Fitter Futures we take safety extremely seriously and recommend speaking to professional coaches for personalised advice on your teen’s situation and ability. Here are some general answers to common concerns and questions from parents.
Will strength training stunt growth?
While you may have heard the myth that strength training stunts growth, there is no scientific evidence for this. When strength training is done safely, there are many benefits (as listed above) that are supported by scientific studies.
Is strength training dangerous for teens?
It can be dangerous when there is no supervision or they are lifting weights that are too heavy or with poor form. Teens learning their technique from Youtube or their mates at the gym are at risk of overloading and injury – they need to get expert coaching and supervision.
If you have a tween or teen who is interested in joining a gym to lift weights or build strength, make sure they receive proper training and supervision. Fitter Futures’ expert coaches specialise in youth athletic development and understand the unique needs of growing bodies. Book a FREE Youth Trial.