Research shows that teenagers can get stronger if they follow a supervised weightlifting program. Here are several guidelines on how to guide your teens in weightlifting.
Don’t force them to join weightlifting
If your kids show an interest in lifting, encourage them. If not, don’t force them to do it. The reason is that it is a way to instill a dislike for sports later on. They have the rest of their lives to be serious with exercise. Most of the professional weightlifters who have kids have never attempted proactively to get them to lift weights. It is best to have a policy of actively encouraging your kids to lift, instead of forcing them to do so. If they want to, show them how and try to keep the session light and fun.
Keep the weight light
Your kids shouldn’t grind out too heavy singles when they lift. Remember that the focus should be on form rather than the weight lifted. Adult-sized barbells will be too heavy for a child. Get a bar specifically made for kids, weighing about 11 lbs.
Standard barbell weights should be fine for kids. Depending on the lift, most kids should be able to lift a barbell with 2.5-10 lb plates.
If you want to have your kids lift even lighter weights, buying some microplates, which allow you to make .5-2.5 lb increases in load, is a good option.
Keep weightlifting fun and playful
The most important goal when kids start weightlifting or doing any exercise is to help them get the movements down as well as to instill a love of fitness in them. In addition, many young children don’t have enough long attention ability to follow a regimented program. Just let your kids play with barbells and provide feedback on the form. For example, put some weight on the kid bar and bust out several sets, then they may go play something else, before coming back to do another set.