When is it Safe for My Child to Strength Train?

When is it
Safe for My Child to Strength Train?
Many parents wonder, “What
is a good age to have my kid start strength training?”   The answer is not always clear-cut and
depends on the child’s interests.  The
Mayo Clinic supports safe strength training in children as early as 7 years
old.  It cannot be stressed enough that
SAFETY must come first, workouts should include fun activities and there are
many benefits to strength training.
One of the most important
messages to parents is that, strength training is a learning process.  A child should be monitored at all time and
taught the proper techniques of strength training.  Weights should remain low during this process
of teaching your child the skills of weight lifting.  When the University of Minnesota strength
training coach, Cal Dietz, was asked about his seven year old kid lifting
weights he said: “we use such light weight that it is probably less than doing
a push up.” 
Strength Training should
only be initiated when the child shows interest and should not be forced.  That is why making strength training
entertaining is so important.  Yes, there
are times to be more serious than others, but start with a fun interactive game
or finish with a game of soccer etc.  Now
would not be the time to have a coach or parent pushing and
screaming at the child to do more.  The
child will put forth the effort that they feel comfortable with and want to
The Mayo Clinic also lists
benefits of strength training for kids on their website, such as:
Done properly, strength training can:
Increase your
child’s muscle strength and endurance
Help protect your
child’s muscles and joints from sports-related injuries
Improve your
child’s performance in nearly any sport, from dancing and figure             skating to football and soccer
Keep in mind that strength training isn’t only for
athletes. Even if your child isn’t interested in sports, strength training can:
Strengthen your
child’s bones
Help promote
healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Help your child
maintain a healthy weight
Improve your
child’s confidence and self-esteem
When done properly strength training can be great to start
at an early age if you child is ready and shows interest.  Remember to keep things fun and teach to
proper techniques.

– http://www.minnesotahockey.org/news_article/show/256252