I see a lot of children and adolescents developing an interest in resistance training, and I really enjoy having conversations with them and their parents about how to start training. Resistance training is safe in children and adolescents. It lets them prepare better for the challenges of activity and develop long term healthy habits towards physical activity. Unfortunately, rates of resistance training in youth remain very low. It’s often hindered by myths surrounding it, and concerns from both youth and their parents.
I wanted to highlight this infographic from the British Journal of Sports Medicine which reviews some of the myths and facts surrounding youth resistance training. Importantly, resistance training is:
- Can start as early as ages 5-7 (whenever the child can follow instructions)
- Does not stunt growth
- Is for everyone (not just athletes)
- Does not make kids bulky (most of the changes in youth come from how the brain controls the muscles better)
It definitely brings me joy seeing the excitement build as they learn more and perform more resistance training. Clinically, what seems to work for youth is to make sure that the training is fun. Either with groups of friends or activities that the kids are interested in. As with starting anything new, seek out legitimate advice from qualified professionals, start low, and go slow. Overall we want to build an enjoyment of resistance training to solidify long term healthy habits.
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Faigenbaum AD, Stracciolini A, MacDonald JP, et al. Br J Sports Med Epub ahead of print: [20/06/2022]. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2022-105804
This article was written by Tim Schmidt. If you would like to book an appointment with Tim, call the clinic at (250) 314-0788 or click this link to see Tim’s availability on our online booking page: