T Nation

8 Yr Old Brother Worked Out Today


#1

So, I was home with my 8-year-old brother today and I was going to go to the basement to do abs and cardio. My brother asked if he can go on the elliptical while I work out, so I said sure.

When we got down, we got to talking about gym class at his school and it somehow gravitated to sit ups. I asked if he can do a sit up and he said yea, so I had him do some sit ups.
He can't quite do one with his knees bent past maybe 40 degrees, but he can do like 6 with his knees at around 40 degrees with me holding his feet.
I taught him to do those with proper form and then we did some leg raises. I didn't want him worrying about flutter kicks or anything, so I just saw how long he would be able to hold his legs raised on his back. He could do like 20 seconds and we did a few sets of that.

I asked him if he wanted to try some other stuff and he said sure. He can't do a full push up and can barely do one to 90 degree elbows, so I had him bench a little. He did some sets of around 12 or the 10lb bar. I made sure he was doing it slow and with good form.

It was the cutest/funniest thing to see him benching. He was actually trying really hard too and pushing himself to failure. I taught him to breath out when he's exerting force and that helped a lot with everything.

We did a few sets of rowing with 10lb dumbells lying on his stomach on the bench. We did some Supermans, those things on the stomach where you balance on your stomach. I had him do a few sets of the Arnold Shoulder Press with 5lb dumbells. He curled some 5s and then did some behind the back Tricep extension with the 5.
It's weird, he can do like 40 reps of 5lb curls but can't curl a 10 once.

We did a few sets of unweighted squats and some standing Calf raises on the stairs.

He told me that he liked it and wants to work out more tomorrow. He was really pushing himself and trying hard. I really didn't expect him to try at all, but he did. What should I do about this? Is it fine for an 8-year-old to work out a little? Maybe only compound movements?
I don't know if an 8-year-old can even make any gains either, but he seems to like it. Is it healthy or can this hinder growth or something?

Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but I couldn't find the 8 and under Lifter section. :slightly_smiling:


#2

I believe bodyweight exercises and light weights are perfectly fine to use. If his school has a playground he probably spends his lunch playing on monkey bars and stuff already. I would stay away from really heavy weights for a bit though. His bones are still extremely soft and may bend, and stay bent under extreme loads. You can pick out adults who jumped off high obstacles when they were children by how bowed out their legs are.


#3

lol… haha
I edited it, but it said “shit ups” instead of “sit ups” in 2 spots.
I was writing that as I spilled water all over my desk and finished writing it before I cleaned it up. That’s some seriously funny subconscious stuff though.


#4

Yeah, I remember seeing an article interviewing Lee Hanely. He suggested that kids do bodyweight exercises like chins, pushups, handstand pushups, etc. Growth-plates and joints have to be considered with children and these exercises will help set a strong foundation for heavier loads later in life.


#5

I’m 37 so it was the 70’s when I grew up. I don’t think it’s the same today but we ran, jumped, sprinted, pulled ourselves up into trees, threw rocks into the river, saw who could break off the biggest branches on pine trees et., etc,

If you kind of mimic that stuff with dumbbell swings, pushups, pullups, jumps and that type of thing I can’t see why it would hurt.

I always thought we had it better than city kids that couldn’t chase cows or run across a frozen pond, roll over logs to find salamanders and all that fun stuff.

So if your kid brother isn’t able to get out in the mud and trees or is a 'gamer for hours a day, get him going in the “gym”!


#6

The young man wants to lift…I say LET HIM LIFT!!! lol

Gerdy


#7

Can he beat you in deads?


#8

I agree with a lot of the other posters. Keep it light and controlled.

Just think about the farm kids… those kids are working pretty hard most days. I remember growing up and playing baseball… the kids from the small towns were always thick, strong, giants compared to us little skinny city kids. Make sure he eats well too.


#9

bodyweight exercises are good and also light weights


#10

[quote]j70 wrote:
I believe bodyweight exercises and light weights are perfectly fine to use. If his school has a playground he probably spends his lunch playing on monkey bars and stuff already. I would stay away from really heavy weights for a bit though. His bones are still extremely soft and may bend, and stay bent under extreme loads. You can pick out adults who jumped off high obstacles when they were children by how bowed out their legs are.[/quote]

Heavy weights aren’t a good idea, but the research on growth plates and children is related to impact activities like gymnastics.

My 12 year old girl has been lifting for a year and a half and loves it, much to my astonishment. ALWAYS err on the side of caution with a kid that young. A shoulder, knee or back injury could have lifelong consequences at that age.


#11

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
My 12 year old girl has been lifting for a year and a half and loves it, much to my astonishment. ALWAYS err on the side of caution with a kid that young. A shoulder, knee or back injury could have lifelong consequences at that age.[/quote]

Agreed, and it definitely helps learning at that age. Muscle-mind connection will come much quicker.