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Monday, June 7, 2010

Will Weightlifting Help or Harm My Future Superstar?

One of may favorite subjects! Many a concerned parent wonder if heavy weight lifting for their preteen student-athlete is healthy and be a hindrance to their growth.

Now that we are much better informed on the subject; the answer is that a safe, well planned, strength and conditioning program can implemented for any child at any age. Heck you can hand them a 4 gram Dumbbell as soon as your next 'Peyton Manning' exits the womb! Because Mom and Dad may be busy with such things as medical bills and cribs, might be a good idea to wait a while after the blessed event.

Because unfortunately so many parents will opt to not have their youngster pump iron along with athletic skill training, the child that does incorporate weight lifting with speed, agility, and quickness will have a decided advantage when he/she hits the field in the fall.

I have found the key with most children under the age of 15 is to make weight training fun while challenging. I can't emphasize enough though that the primary reason for weight training for sport is to reduce or eliminate the chance of injury. With that in mind the weight training has to be progressive. Conservative in the beginning, with a gradual increase in the overall weight lifted.

  • All strength-training activities should be supervised and monitored closely.
  • Remember that children are physiologically immature.
  • The primary focus, at least initially, should be directed at learning proper techniques for all exercise movements and developing an interest in resistance training.
  • Proper techniques should be demonstrated first, followed by gradual application of resistance or weight.
  • Proper breathing techniques (i.e., no breath holding) should be taught.
  • "

    Essentially weight training is no more dangerous than your child riding their bike. It is just as natural for them to swim, climb trees, and certainly more beneficial than video games.

    So get that future Heisman Trophy winner into the gym pronto!
    Here is today's feature exercise from the US Sports Online Strength and Conditioning System

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