When should my athlete / child start lifting weights? That’s a question I get almost weekly from parents who know their kid needs to add strength to get better at their sport. But they don’t know when it’s ok to get them started in lifting.
The short answer is, Don’t Wait!
Get them going as soon as they WANT to.” The key word being “want,” because it has to be fun or they’ll hate it and it will hinder their ability to be great at it later.
The sooner they start strength training the better off they are at increasing their strength and power output.
Not to mention the stamina they’ll gain that will go a long way to helping them perform better and, in turn, increase their personal confidence exponentially.
Know Your Limitations
Strength training is incredibly important, but the strength training pro athletes do is very different from what young athletes should.
Youth athletes can get more than enough resistance from their own body weight. This is what you should have your athlete begin with as soon as possible.
And this is where many people get confused because they don’t think it’s enough.
Let me tell you. It really is!
What you don’t likely see are all the little changes happening under the skin and in the brain.
The coordination and body control being developed. The stability of the joints and mobility that’s increasing. The overall athleticism that’s being built little by little.
These steps are paramount if you want your kids to walk into an actual weight room on day and be ahead of other athletes in there simply because he knows his body and how to put in hard physical work. The result of the prior years of preparations.
Weights don’t have to be metal and clank around.
Weight is just a greater resistance on a muscle. Something that your kid’s own body can provide.
Anthony Trucks is an IYCA-certified trainer who covers strength training for SportStars.