Although there is no minimum age for participating in a youth strength training program, children should have the emotional maturity to accept and follow directions and should appreciate the benefits and concerns associated with this type of training. In general, if a child is ready for participation in some type of sport activity (about age 7 or 8), then he or she may be ready to strength train. It is also important for a child to be physically fit enough to handle a program and not have any pre-existing conditions, which could increase the risk of injury.
Children and adolescents should not undertake strength training on their own. They need guidance from a qualified professional to match the strength training program to their needs, interests, and abilities. If qualified instruction and a safe training environment are not available, youth who train on their own are at an increased risk of injury. The key is to provide close supervision, age-related instruction, proper equipment, and a safe training environment.
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