Should Kids Lift Weights?

Weight training and High-Impact training for kids.

Don’t worry, I am not going to get technical with stats and percentages. I’m going to make this simple and relatable for everyone. How many times have you heard…”Kids should not use weights…it will stunt their growth”…Countless times I am sure. I can find countless articles that contradict that and on the flip side I can find articles supporting that. As a parent of two boys who do Crossfit I can tell you I am 100% confident in having them use weights. 

But let’s define “weights”, and more importantly “weights” when it applies to our program. Age appropriate weights is how I’ll describe it.

  • I want you to picture an 8 year old girl holding a set of 2lb-3lb dumbbells doing some shoulder presses.  Now picture a coach beforehand demonstrating proper movement. Can the child demonstrate proper movement without weight? If so, then let’s see how they perform the movement using a very light load. If they can they get to use that weight for the workout. If not, they don’t use a weight. 

Simple as that in our program. The coach dictates what weights are used because we all know little ones, they will grab the heaviest weight they can. It’s in their nature to do that. Weights used are earned through demonstration of movement. The Crossfit Kids training program does not advocate maximal lifts for kids and preteens. We do however advocate supervised low load weight training.  Something to keep in mind however, is how heavy is your child’s back pack?  What types of things do they move around and life on a daily basis?  I will say, much heavier than what we have them lifting in class.  And we are teaching them how to lift those things with proper form.

When our youth are playing their respective sport the force applied to their bodies during play is far greater than those we use in our program. Our application is also done in a controlled setting with no outside variables such as sport. The unforeseen variables in sport pose a far greater risk of injury. Making your child’s muscles and joints stronger will help prevent injury on the field and in everyday life. Helping them move better through proper range of motion will benefit them for their entire life.

Along with age appropriate weight training we also add in high impact training which has huge benefits for your child. These are movements like running, box jumps, and broad jumps just to name a few. Read this article for benefits of high impact and weight training in our youth.

Any application of load in any exercise program for anyone needs to be done so correctly. Especially in our youth and our coaches are trained to do so. Explanation, demonstration, correcting of faults, and “earned” loads will keep your child safe and that is Crusher’s number one priority. 

Looking for a place to keep your child active?  Athlete or not –  we would love to help.  Our program is designed for any child of every level.  Email Geo@CrusherCrossFit.Com for more information!


Coach Geo