Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Weight lifting for a pre-teen

Question: What is an appropriate age to introduce some light weight training for an 11 year old boy. Or, is it not appropriate? My spouse and I have different view on this. I don't support it not knowing enough about it. - Nancy

Answer: Dear Nancy,
There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before anyone begins with weightlifting.

At 11 years old, your child is probably not ready to begin heavy weight exercises. Prior to the completion of puberty, bones, tendons and ligaments are not strong enough to handle the pressures of weights.

There are many bones in the body that are still growing at a very rapid rate. There are areas where growth plates are still forming. If too much stress or tension is placed on these areas before growth is finished, damage may occur resulting in uneven growth. Growth may also stop completely if damage is done in these vital areas.

You might want to wait until your child is well into his growth spurt. Your child's pediatrician would be in a good position to help you at that time. In the mean time, aerobics, bicycling and sports designed with this age group in mind would be an alternative.

Dr. Betti

Also see:

  • Plantar's warts
  • Are vaccines safe?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions
  • Recently asked questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.