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At what age should I start lifting weights?

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Claude Parcon
Personal Trainer
MaxPreps.com
Around puberty, or 13-14 years of age, is a typical mark for youngsters to start lifting weights. I have trained kids from ages 9-12 in simple strength training like resistance bands, light free weights, and body weight exercises. Ages 15-16 is where they will experience the more traditional set of exercises like bench press and overhead squat from there P.E. coach in high school. Keep the weight light with high reps. Don't take the chances of damaging growth plates by lifting too heavy. Form must be achieved before any strength training routine! The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association all support strength training for kids. Only if done proper technique, safety, and monitored at all times. Your child can build muscle strength using:

  • Free weights
  • Weight machines
  • Resistance bands
  • His or her own body weight