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Importance of youth weightlifting | FOX43 FitMinute

Starting to go to the gym at an early age is more beneficial than you may think. Trainers at the York JCC tell us why and debunk a few misconceptions!

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Many may have started weightlifting in high school or college for sports or just for regular well-being, but did you know that there are benefits to starting even earlier than that? 

York County Jewish Community Center trainer, Danny Amon, says starting at a younger age helps to build muscle memory with proper form, a vital skill to help down the line!

“Eight to 10 [years old] we get them in the gym for the first time. We are getting them to move in a way that’s proper so when they are down the line in their teens, they are doing actual weights with more safety in mind,” said Amon.

At this age, JCC trainers recommend starting with body weight or a PVC pipe (negligible weight) to achieve the right form while holding an actual bar.  

"They need to do the proper range of motion first establish they can do a move correctly, then we give them a little bit of resistance with what’s appropriate,” said Amon.

Weight amounts when ready will range depending on the child. Trainers assess the skill level of each participant and may gradually add weight to the bar. Maximum weight amounts though never exceed 20 pounds. 

Two common misconceptions when people hear about youth lifting opportunities include a higher likelihood of injury and stunting of the growth of the child.  

“The misconception that it stunts your growth, is not true because they are already doing things that create more of a response in their body than what resistance training does,” said Amon.  

“Second misconception that it's going to get them hurt. Definitely the exact opposite of that. It’s not that they are going to get hurt from weightlifting, it's that weightlifting is going to prevent them from getting hurt from doing other things,” said Amon. 

If you are interested in getting your child in the gym, click here for more information about the JCC and the youth weightlifting programs available.

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