This is a question that a lot of parents ask me.
I wanted to provide you answers to your questions so you feel completely comfortable with your training.
This is a question about when is it appropriate and at what age can kids begin to train intensely.
Here’s what you need to understand.
What’s going on is your kids are very young, but they’re playing in a very competitive atmosphere.
When they play AAU, when they play any competitive game, they’re putting their bodies through plyometric stress.
They’re jumping and they’re doing all kinds of things putting their body through all kinds of stresses.
When they properly train they’re going to be more prepared for that in game intensity, and they’re going to be less likely to injure themselves.
There’s a lot of people who say, “Can you injure your growth plates?”
However, this kind of thing, if you check out the actual research done on growth plates, et cetera, you will find that there’s no cases of people who have hindered their height due to growth plate damage during appropriate exercise preformed in moderation.
I wanted to highlight that last portion to note that I am not advocating for turning your kids into bodybuilders.
On the contrary, I like to promote the idea that kids should be active to a level that allows them to progress physically without causing muscular or bone damage. Both of these are usually indicated by persistent pain.
If you want a good starting point, you can start doing body weight exercises with your kids, whether that be plyometrics, single leg squats, or other single leg movements.
By the way, a single leg movement can make you very very strong.
If you want to be on the conservative side, even though there’s no research data for showing that lifting weights can hinder actual growth plates, start with using body weight, start with doing plyometrics.
You can also use lower reps.
This will prepare your kids with a foundation of strength, of movement efficiency, and help them to avoid injuries as well as getting them moving and just being a more explosive athlete at a very young age.
You are doing your kids an awesome, awesome service by showing them how to train smart right off the bat.
You get them started at this young age and their progress is going to be exponential over the years if they stay steady.
I hope this answers your question.
You really don’t have anything to fear as far as growth is concerned especially if you’re not going to do anything crazy like load them up with massive amounts of weights.
You need to work with kids, teach them how to do the exercises properly, start with low weights, make sure they get the movement done properly and then begin to increase the intensity.
Again, if you’re not comfortable using weights you can use body weight.
Single leg movements are extremely effective for increasing stability, strength and explosiveness.