NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

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

Newburyport

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans