, Newburyport, MA


November 26, 2013

Check with doctor about strength training for kids

To the editor:

In her column, “Strength Training for kids: a guide (Nov. 22), Kate McKay does not offer information as to her educational level or whether she has any medical training. Though I am not a physician or expert, much of what she recommends in her column goes against everything I have ever been told by pediatricians, coaches and fitness professionals.

It is my understanding children, until they reach the ages of 10-12 years old, can do serious long-term damage to joints by weight training. The cartilage in elbows, knees and shoulders does not fully harden until this age range. Studies commissioned by coaches such as Cal Ripkin now suggest many high school sports injuries are related to over-active use of joint muscles in younger children. Others suggest these widespread injuries are related to weight training too early, as this tends to stretch softer cartilage and prevent it from forming correctly. My son is 13. He is a very active young athlete. He has trained at two athletic training facilities and been told by both he should not lift weights until he is 14. Over 35 years ago, my high school football coach warned us against lifting weights until the summer of our 13th year. My son’s pediatrician concurs and has warned us not to let him engage in weight training until this year.

The question of stunted growth is no longer taken seriously by many. But the question of long-term damage to forming cartilage leading to congenital weakness and further serious injury later in high school has become a very real concern among physicians, trainers and coaches. I would caution against taking the advice of someone without medical training when deciding whether children should begin weigh training before the middle school years. Ask a doctor.

Bob Ross


Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans