Wednesday September 5 2012
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Weight Training For Kids

With children being christened the “Next (Insert Name Here)” so often, sport specialization is occurring at earlier ages. One vital aspect of specialization is weight training. But is it safe for your child to start lifting weights?

“It’s quite safe as long as it’s well supervised. All the injuries are due to lack of supervision and kids using inappropriate technique,” according to Ed Wietholder, founder of Strength, Fitness and Speed, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA.  

When one thinks of weight training, images of bodybuilders squatting and deadlifting most often come to mind, but there is a very different reality, especially when dealing with adolescences. Forming proper habits and technique is the foundation needed for successful development when a child enters the weight room.

“It’s all technique. There’s a lot of empty-bar work that goes on early on,” Wietholder added.

Parents most often get their kids started into weight training to enhance their athletic abilities, but when it becomes a numbers game is when children get hurt. Progress will come naturally only after vigilant knowledge is applied.

“It’s beneficial to get it done and show them the right way in the beginning. Every sport out there requires you to keep your body in shape,” Frank Romano of Alpha Fitness in Elizabeth, PA explains.

However, there are certain risks that are greater to females rather than males. For instance, their hips are naturally wider and their knees are more susceptible to injury. With proper instruction though, ligament injuries, like all injuries, can be minimized.

“Here’s the thing, the earlier you can start on any type of exercise routine the more you’re going to carry that with you for the rest of your life,” Romano concludes.  

Weight training is just one form of physical activity that children can benefit from, but it is up to the parent to educate themselves first before allowing their kid to start.

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