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Thursday, September 1, 2016
Young weight lifters
Should a 13 year-old be lifting weights? Our 13 year-old wants to start lifting weights but, we have been told that it is not good for his health. He is a very talented basketball player on a very competitive team. His coach agrees with us that weights would not be healthy for him and may even "stunt" his growth.
Many people have strong feelings about strength training in children. I do not belive that it will stunt his growth. But, based on the literature I have read and my experience with high school freshman, I feel that pure weight training (lifting) should not begin until at least age 15.
I do think that the middle school aged child can do strength training that is proportionate to his/her own body weight. Push ups, pull ups, sit ups/crunches and a variety of different sports should be part of a program to develop neuromuscular training and control.
The key is to make workouts enjoyable and progressively more challenging as his body grows. This will avoid injury and improve self confidence.
I have included a web site that you may find useful. I would go to the Links section to begin your search.
Vincent J O'Brien, ATC
Head Athletic Trainer
Clinical Instructor at the School of Allied Medical Professions
The Ohio State University