Is weightlifting at a young age safe?

 

A common misconception I see everywhere is “weightlifting for kids will stunt their growth”

 

This false statement has been going around for decades with zero research to prove it’s legitimacy but also plenty of facts to prove it wrong.

 

So what are some of the facts?  Let’s quickly dive into this topic.

Personally I have coached many kids in my coaching experience, some starting at the age of 10 others a little older between 12-13.  I have watched all of these young women grow during these various times while still training, some of them so much that we have to alter and “re-learn” techniques based on their size.

 

Weightlifting instructed by a qualified and experienced coach is very safe, with fewer injuries per 1000 contacts hours than almost every field sport at a rate of 0.0017 per 100 hours of training.

Lower than soccer, American football, gymnastics, etc. all common sports for kids to participate in from a very early age. 

 

What’s the difference between Weightlifting and these other sports?  No contact and the variables are controllable.  

The barbell isn’t trying to tackle or finesse the ball away from the participants, the lack of contact makes it a much safer sport.

 

The variables are also easily controllable and even self-limiting.  Younger pre-pubescent kids don’t have the necessary hormones to gain much strength, which keeps them from training at an intensity that could be considered injurious.  

 

At this age participants are training their technique, movement, patterns, and efficiency with movements, with proper coaching and guidance these movements are loaded and dosed appropriately to ensure proper technique and a broad foundation of strength and athleticism that will carry over into all sports and their daily lives. 

 

We can also surmise that weightlifting has nontangible nonphysical effects on character and discipline, showing these young people that if they work hard they can achieve things they never thought possible

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