Weight and Resistance Training - Kids who want to lift weights

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08-01-2009, 06:01 PM
Everything I have read (2-3 place so far) says you should not encourage kids under 12-13 years old to lift weights. However, my 6.5 year old daughter is in tears and *very* disappointed that she can't lift weights with Mommy. I still don't think it is a good idea at all. I am wondering if she could use my small wrist weights (I think they are only about half a pound each). Anyone else have kids who want to lift weights? I tried to encourage her to just use her own body weight and still do the exercises, but she wants weights.

Too bad they don't make a "placebo" weight. :lol:

08-01-2009, 07:06 PM
I checked this out a little for my boys. I read that they should not lift more than 20% of their body weight or it can cause problems with bone growth. Personally, I don't think wrist weights would hurt her, but I am no Dr. Maybe call her Dr and ask. It will put you at ease and make her a happy camper if she gets to do what Mama does.
Yeah for you for giving her a good example that she wants to follow!

08-01-2009, 09:58 PM
Doing weight bearing exercises causing growth plate injuries and thus hindering growth is a myth. If anything, sports like soccer where there can be severe impact injuries and bone fractures are more likely to cause injuries to the growth plates.

I think letting her use very light weights is just fine. Kids lift toys, books, etc. all the time. I also like what you are trying to do to teach her to do some weight bearing exercises. Squats, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups are all great exercises for kids and adults to do. Maybe you can incorporate those exercises into our routine so your daughter can do them with you.

08-01-2009, 10:13 PM
First, how awesome it must feel that your daughter wants to emulate your healthy lifestyle! My first intuition is that her budding interest in lifting probably won't last long before she moves onto something else. But in the meantime it is important to keep it safe.

When training children (usually older than six though) it is important to pay attention to form. It is also encouraged that children place their goals in endurance (8 to 15 reps in each set) instead of strength (heaviness of weight used). If the child is unable to complete at least 8 reps in good form then the weight is too heavy.

I also have a six year old son. He's quite happy with the three pound dumb bells doing a few chest presses and then he's off to play on the Bosu and roll around on the ball.

Children need several bouts of 15 minute intervals of exercise each day. The nature of lifting and moving from equipment to equipment "workout toy" simulates they type of play they naturally do on their own outdoors. Just keep an eye on her, make sure everything is safe around her and let her explore.

08-01-2009, 10:16 PM
maybe she could use resistance bands, or some water bottles as weights. my daughter loves that. i will also let her use a one pound weight, if I am watching her carefully. *she's five*

also, my daughter will mimic my yoga poses, especially the ones she thinks are fun, such as tree and downward facing dog.

it's nice that she has an interest in fitness so young!

08-01-2009, 10:26 PM
Oh, resistance bands are fun for kids too! Great idea!

08-02-2009, 05:07 PM
The whole bit about not letting kids lift is a myth, but everybody, including adults, should learn to do the movement right with light/no weight, before adding weight. A stick of 1/2" or 3/4" pvc pipe (depending on the kid and the size of their hands/grip) makes a fine "barbell" for practicing lifts. Air squats, olympic lifts, gymnastics moves, etc..all that provides a great big world of what kids can do for fitness. Check out http://www.crossfitkids.com/ for some great info and ideas for kids' workouts.

08-02-2009, 06:38 PM
You are all so awesome!!! :D And yes, it is so nice that she is trying to follow my example - although previous to now I don't know that I was that good of one. Gives me a little warm fuzzy. :)

I'm glad to know that the info I had was largely a myth. I have small weights (1 lb) that I think I will let her use. Excellent idea about teaching her the right form instead of just letting her "play" like mommy sometimes. She has played around with the resistance bands I have, trying to do what I do. She does like that!

jamsk8r: That site you referenced is *exactly* what I need - I need it more for my 8 yr old boy than my daughter, but she can benefit a lot from it, too. I was trying to think up or find a kids workout sort of thing that they could do while we are at the fitness center. That is perfect!!

Great ideas and info - thank you all for saving me from trying to fashion fake weights with an empty paper towel roll and styrofoam. LOL! I was so not looking forward to that.