A topic that comes up quite often with parents who have teenage children. Your child becomes interested in weight training and wants to join a gym, or maybe you want to push them in that direction and have them follow your passion for fitness. But you are wondering, is it too early? Am I causing my child harm and health issues? Or am I limiting his potential and missing a chance to have my child live a healthy lifestyle?
Today, we are answering these questions.
Research suggests strength training has a lot to offer some teenagers in terms of health, fitness and mental wellness.
Teens who work out with weights, as well as exercise aerobically, reduce by half their risk for sports injuries and improve sports performance. It also boosts bone density, strengthens tendons and helps prevent conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, as well as poor lifestyle habits that lead to heart attack and stroke later in life.
However this does not mean that there are no risks associated, because the skeleton isn’t mature until the early 20s, too much weight can stress the joints and ligaments and may separate growth plates or damage joints in other ways. High weight and low repetition training also increases risk of severe injury.
Therefore, it would be better for adolescents to stick to low weight, high repetition training (12-15 reps).
We would definitely recommend teens to start training with a personal trainer, a teen alone with no experience in a gym with heavy weights is subject to poor decision making and advice that can easily lead to injury and eventually long term health issues.
Will weight training stunt my child’s growth?
The most popular myth when it comes to youth weight lifting, there is no scientific evidence to support that weight training stunts growth. What is supported by scientific evidence is that it may cause damage to growth plates, as stated above, due to poor form and too heavy weights.
To conclude, we would highly recommend going to the gym for a teen, or doing any type of physical activity. With proper supervision, and keeping to low weights with high repetitions, working out can be very beneficial to a teens health and mental wellbeing.