Should Children Lift?

Found this and I know a lot of people think it is detrimental for children to lift.  Strength training helps strengthen bones, protect from sports related injury, and help avoid damage from falls or accidents. 

 

I have been seeing reports of young children competing in powerlifting. Can't heavy weight training stunt your growth?

The evidence clearly states that a safe and monitored strength training program is NOT harmful for even very young children. A moderate strength training program can help increase strength, decrease the risks of injury while playing sports, and increase bone density. The American Academy of Pediatrics has put forth a pro-strength training statement.

The American Academy of Pediatrics position on strength training supports the implementation of strength and resistance-training programs, even for prepubescent children, as long as well-trained adults monitor them and that they take into account the child's maturation level. The only limitation the AAP suggests is to avoid repetitive maximal lifts (lifts that are one repetition maximum lifts or are within 2-3 repetitions of a one repetition maximum lift) until they have reached Tanner Stage 5 of developmental maturity. Tanner Stage 5 is the level in which secondary sex characteristics have been developed. Usually, at this stage adolescents will have also passed their period of maximal velocity of height growth.

The AAP's concern that children wait until this stage to perform maximal lifts is that the epiphyses, commonly called growth plates, are still vulnerable to injury. It is repeated injuries to these growth plates that may hinder growth. For this same reason, two of the leading researchers in the field of youth fitness, Doctors Fleck and Kraemer, agree that repetitive maximal lifts should be avoided. However, Fleck and Kraemer and the AAP agree that a strength-training program that doesn't include often-performed maximal lifting is beneficial for prepubescent and pubescent youth.

As long as the parents and coaches of young powerlifters do not sacrifice form and technique for lifts well beyond the capabilities of their young charges and limit the amount of maximal lifts they do, the inclusion of powerlifting in a well-rounded sports and recreational activity program will actually benefit their physical development.

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  1. Hey there, I was just surfing the world wide web and came across your blog. Thought I’d say thanks and tell you that I’ve enjoyed my stay here, hope you have a wonderful evening !

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