World's Strongest Girl. She's 10, weighs 99 lbs, lifts 215 and is Orthodox.

What, me worry?7/10/2012 12:15:30 pm PDT

re: #4 Destro

Is this dangerous for young kids? I heard tales that weight training at an early age stunts growth, etc?

No. It’s safe.

With every young athlete, the question eventually arises: What is the appropriate age for a child to start strength training?

Before answering this question, let’s define strength training: This refers to a method of conditioning designed to increase an individual’s ability to exert or resist force. The goal is not to see which child is the strongest, but to improve the musculoskeletal strength. Strength training can mean using weights, or it can mean doing sit ups, push ups and leg curls without weights.

Despite the previously held belief that strength training was unsafe and ineffective for children, health organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) now “support children’s participation in appropriately designed and competently supervised strength training programs.”

Experts have found that strength training programs can be safe, effective and may also help prevent certain sports-related injuries among young athletes. Recent findings suggest that strength training during childhood and adolescence may make bones stronger, a benefit which can last a lifetime.

As far as what age a child should start such a program, here is a good rule of thumb: If 7- or 8-year-olds are ready for participation in organized sports or activities such as little league or gymnastics, then they are ready for some type of strength training program. For children starting out in weight training, lifetime fitness and proper exercise techniques should be emphasized. Adults designing training programs should provide a stimulating environment that helps children develop a healthier lifestyle.