Done properly, strength training covers many benefits to young athletes. Strength training is even a good idea for kids who simply want to look and feel better. In fact, strength training might put your child on a lifetime path to better health and fitness.
Don’t confuse strength training with weight lifting, bodybuilding or power lifting. These activities are largely driven by competition, with participants vying to lift heavier weights or build bigger muscles than those of other athletes. This can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons, and areas of cartilage that haven’t turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper techniques are sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight.
For kids, light resistance and controlled movements are best — with a special emphasis on proper technique and safety. Your child can do many strength training exercises with his or her own body weight or resistance bands. Free weights and machine weights are other options.
Done properly, strength training can: