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Thread: Weight Lifting for a 7 yo girl page

  1. #1
    Leida's Avatar
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    Weight Lifting for a 7 yo girl

    Okay, I have to say I am puzzled here. My daughter, who loves climbing, swimming and monkey bars already, and has badminton and basketball, keeps trying to train with me.

    So, last night I led her through the short endurance circuit of:
    1 set of 12 Bicep Curl, Deltoid Raise and OHP with 2 lbs dumbells - she could not handle 5 lbs safely
    Pavel's ladders push-ups (she went off my very low bench, I went off the floor) - she can do one good push up, then loses back alignment and I stop her
    and I got her to do an assisted chin-up on my pull-up bar

    When we are in the gym, I get her to squat on Bosu (about 20 reps), and do push-ups of the 30" bench (she can do 3-4)

    Is it bad for her to do this? Do I need to do something different? I know BC is not exactly exercise of choice, but I am afraid she can hurt herself with longer levelrs motion?

    My only recollection of exercise is a bit later in life, around 10, we did body weight only (rope, bars, somersolts, push-ups and pull-ups, squats).

    Is it safe to give her 2-3 lbs weights in that age and give her a mechanic isolation motion, or should I insist on the body weight?
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    i would say stick with the bodyweight work, not necessarily because of safety, but because it's great and will keep her strong and mobile. once she gets familiar with the bodyweight stuff, and if she wants to add lifting weights, i don't see any reason to discourage her as long as someone is making sure she isn't doing any damage to herself from overstraining or bad form.

  3. #3
    Leida's Avatar
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    That would be me, but I am only certified as an adult group fitness instructor for aerobics and weights. I am not certified as a PT. I keep a mom's eye on her neutral alignment, but I have no idea what are specifics for training young children before the bones/joints are 'finalized'? Anyone has any books about it?

    EDIT: Am I over-thinking as usual? After all, girls do gymnastics at this age, and that's by far greater load than 2 lb weight?
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  4. #4
    primalrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    children do gymnastics at this age, and that's by far greater load than 2 lb weight
    this was my original thought, and another reason why i would recommend body weight work over weights...gymnasts have insane abilities, strength, mobility, etc. that i think are some of the best things to focus on early in life, and it's my understanding that those skills come from body weight work.
    but, if she wants to lift weights, let her lift weights...just keep it simple. a pair of dumbells aren't much different than pails of sand. stick with those. or, better yet, let her have her own sandbag.

  5. #5
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    I am certified as a PT and would never do any resistance work with a child that young. Let her go out & play or find a good gymnastics teacher to work with.

  6. #6
    Leida's Avatar
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    She does tons of active play, both structured and not, as I said before. But she wants the weights. I am thinking of putting her into gymnastics next fall, but I am reluctant because she is tall and muscular, rather than small and wiry. I had her in ballet class for 2 years and she looked like a quarterback compared to the other girls.
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  7. #7
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    I believe on the Starting Strength forums there is a woman (in North Carolina?) who works with young children and has some kind of PVC pipe system set up for them. While I would agree that an adult weight lifting regimen is not appropriate for pre-pubescent children, I think there is a ton you can do that will feel like weight lifting to a child and still not be too much for their growing bodies. Best to get some advice from some one who works with children.

    ETA: I wouldn't put a child into gymnastics unless they were begging and pleading. I don't know what the injury rate for child gymnasts is over all, but among the ones I know, it is SCARY.
    Last edited by LauraSB; 03-11-2013 at 06:04 PM.
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  8. #8
    Ayla2010's Avatar
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    7 year olds do not need to lift weights of any kind.
    Body weight is fine.

    I remember reading some place that its best not to lift weights until well into teens due to muscle development or the risk of damaging bones, can't remember the exact thing, id have to try and find it again. Whether its just CW or not I don't know but it makes sense.

  9. #9
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    I was around second or third grade when I started in our little basement gym. Seriously, it was more like play. Really I don't see where your going to have any issues as long as we aren't talking powerlifting in the low rep range.

    I started out with a three dumbell set. 2.5, 5, and 8lb weights. Did a circuit of work with those every night. Was actually pretty fun to work out with my dad. He of course was doing his barbell and "big weights" work though. And he made sure I did know how to perform the sets and how many reps to use. Was never to "failure", or over strenuous.

    I actually believe gymnastics would be far more stressful on the growth plates and joints than controlled movements with moderate (for her size) weight. Calisthenics are never bad though.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 03-11-2013 at 06:48 PM.

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    ^ i agree, teeny weights

    also, since she wants to do it cause mom is, why don't you make a sensei/padawan deal out of it? tell her, in a way that makes you seem mysterious and wise, that one must learn before one can toss weights around and then make her a bodyweight routine

    after a while 'you have learned well and are ready for level 2'

    actually, now i want a kid so i can pretend i am wise and mysterious and set out little hero tasks for mini-me
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