When Is It Safe for Children to Start Strength Training?

How young is too young for kids to start pumping iron? According to Holly Benjamin, who helped write the American Academy of Pediatrics' police on strength training, kids as young as seven can embark on some sort of strength-training program--as long as their form is good. Benjamin says such muscle-building exercises as push-ups, sit-ups, handstands, squats, and Pilates are fine, but that kids should hold off a bit longer on lifting weights. And while kids will get stronger, they won't necessarily develop into junior Schwarzeneggers overnight. "A lot of a person's ability to get big muscles is genetic," notes Benjamin.

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