There’s a wonderful variety of benefits for those who do strength training. Some of these include the promotion of lean body mass, a faster metabolism and a tone and fit physique with healthier muscles and bones.

Most people believe that lifting weights is only reserved for adults, however, figuring that younger children should stay away from pumping iron because it can cause harm. According to a report by Men’s Health, one of the most common myths is that weight lifting will stunt a child’s growth.

A majority of children are often introduced to strength training when they sign up for sports at school during their teenage years. Youth sports, however, has become a big, competitive deal lately, so there is a concern for pre-teens being encouraged to start early and reach for the free weights.

Parents are wondering when it’s safe for kids to safely pump iron.

Children used to have fun outdoors running around and choose if they wanted to participate in a school sport. Times changed, and school sports became more serious with camps, workshops and excessive concentration on excelling in a certain sport for gaining a scholarship years later. Burn-out was common.

Long-Term Athletic Development has come along, and remarkably, the concept is redefining the way kids approach sports. The emphasis focuses on such qualities as a youth’s well-being, general health and multi-sport sampling.

The program believes that weight lifting for children has good benefits in motor skill development and general athleticism. The concept recommends kids begin resistance training between the ages of six and eight. These sessions would feature free weights, pushups and planks and bands and tubes.

All kids should be free to try a number of different sports to develop movement skills and abilities that do not limit them in attitude or what their bodies can achieve.

Fitness programs should be tailored uniquely to an individual and safely meet them on their level of development and interest.

The concept outlines three methods:

Structured play comes in sports participation with adults making the rules.

Semi-structured play involves both adults and kids defining the rules.

Free play is the third factor where children make their own rules. Kids need this kind of goofing off.

It all comes down to a healthy balance for children.