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Strength Training for Children


Anybody have any thoughts on strength training for a budding 8 year old football player? Was wondering if strength training for children is advisable and if so, what simple exercise would you recommend?


If anything, keep it to only bodyweight exercises, relay races...but most importantly keep it fun

I am sure that squatting/deadlifting/benching or any type of weight training is not advised at 8 years old


Agreed. For an 8 year old, get him out of the house playing video games and get him to just play. Climb trees, get him into ALL kinds of sports to develope his "muscle IQ", and what twistacannon said.


I would think that push-ups/pull-ups and sled dragging may be good choices. If you happen to have a Prowler, you could use that as well. As long as its fun for him, its all good (you could make it into a game for him).


Can't go wrong with calisthenics, but it should be noted that there is very little evidence that strength training is bad for kids. Check out Rippetoe's Starting Strength for more info on kids and weight training if you are interested in that aspect.


Agreed. Avery Faigenbaum has published a lot of studies supporting youth weight training and its safety. IMO youth strength training should start when the youth expresses an interest in it.

At eight years old, it needs to be fun and not forced.


I was talking to my coach about this the other day actually. There's a lot of false wisdom floating around that strength training, particularly with weights, is bad for kids' physical developement. Nevermind the fact that most european and asian weightlifters start when they're about 6 years old :stuck_out_tongue:

So yeah i'd say getting the kid into strength training is a great idea, so long as he enjoys it. Bodyweight stuff, plyometrics and light weights are all good.

But remember that most kids don't care about long-term results, they just wanna have fun. If its not fun, he's not going to want to stick to it.