Weight Training for Kids: A Path to Lifelong Health and Fitness

Posted on by Ross Harris

With the ever increasing sedentary nature of our world a common concern of parents is ensuring their children get enough physical activity. While activities like running, swimming, and playing team sports are widely accepted as healthy, there’s another aspect of fitness that deserves attention: weight training. In this blog, we’ll explore why children should lift weights and how it can positively impact their overall health and development.

Weight Training

1. Dispelling Myths

Before we dive into the benefits, let’s address some common misconceptions about strength training for kids:

  • Myth 1: Stunting Growth
    • Many parents worry that weightlifting will stunt their child’s growth. However, research shows that properly supervised strength training does not hinder growth. In fact, it can promote healthy bone development.
  • Myth 2: Risk of Injury
    • Safety is a valid concern, but when done correctly, strength training is safe for children. Proper form, appropriate weights, and supervision are crucial. It is interesting to note that injury rates in settings with good supervision and proper technique are much lower than those seen during most other sports or even in the school playground.

2. The Benefits of Weight Training

a. Muscle Strength and Endurance

  • Strength training helps kids build muscle strength and endurance. It’s not only about bulking up; but also about functional strength that supports daily activities.

b. Hormonal Response

1. Human growth hormone (HGH) is stimulated by strength training. HGH aids in building muscle, burning fat, and promoting bone growth. So rather than stunting growth, weight training actually assists it!

2. Testosterone is stimulated by strength training, however this varies by biological sex. Boys see significant increases in Testosterone after weight training, whereas girls see only minor changes. Testosterone is important for developing muscle size and strength

3. Strength training also increases insulin sensitivity, which helps control blood sugar and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

c. Metabolic Health

  • Regular strength training increases lean body mass, which positively impacts metabolic rate. This can help prevent obesity and related health issues.

d. Strong Bones

  • Weight training strengthens bones and reduces the risk of fractures during sport and osteoporosis later in life.

e. Injury Prevention

  • Strong muscles and bones are less prone to injuries during sports and play.

f. Sports Performance

  • Strength training enhances athletic performance by improving power, agility, and coordination.

g. Establishing a Fitness Habit

  • Starting early builds a lifelong habit of physical activity and fitness.

h.  Can Promote Psychological Well-being and Improve Self-esteem


So what have we learnt…

Weight training can be extremely beneficial for children, laying the foundation for lifelong health and fitness.  There are many health and performance benefits that can be attained and lifting weights DOES NOT STUNT GROWTH!  Children should be encouraged to partake in resistance exercise but emphasis should be placed on gradual introduction, proper learning of technique, and above all safety.


The following articles take a detailed look at the research in this area

Weightlifting for Children and Adolescents: A Narrative Review (2022)

Resistance Training for Children and Adolescents (2020)

Strength Training by Children and Adolescents (2008)

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