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Parents Fact Sheet

Weightlifting is a sport which provides opportunities for athletes to compete at all levels from local to International. Weightlifting is an Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games sport in which athletes perform two lifts – the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. Weightlifting training develops strength, speed, power, flexibility, coordination and Balance.

Is it Safe for Children?

With correct coaching, proper equipment, and realistic expectations, strength training and weightlifting programs designed for children and adolescents are safe and beneficial. Unfortunately there are still many myths which cause concern for parents about the safety of children training with weights for both competitive sport and general fitness purposes. Parents with these concerns can be reassured that strength training and weightlifting can help improve children’s overall health, physical development and sense of psychosocial well-being. A properly designed and supervised strength training and weightlifting program can provide a safe and effective way for children to obtain the following benefits:
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Improved joint flexibility
  • Better motor skills
  • Increased strength, power & speed
  • Improved body composition
  • Better cardio respiratory function
  • Improved overall sports performance
  • Greater confidence and self esteem

How Much? How Soon?

The development of muscle in children is related to age, body size, previous levels of physical activity and various phases of growth. Many years ago it was recommended that children and adolescents should avoid weightlifting, because it was thought to expose them to a greater risk of musculoskeletal injuries. But a retrospective review of injuries associated with weightlifting in preadolescents and adolescents found that weightlifting is safer than many other sports.

To perform the complex multi joint movements involved in weightlifting, children must first undergo a phase of gradual learning. Beginners must successfully master the introductory exercise techniques using very light weights and only increase those weights under strict, qualified coaching supervision and according to the rate of their skill development. It’s this gradual process of learning weightlifting technique and progressive conditioning that protects children from “overdoing it”.

Where is Weightlifting - how do I get involved?

Find a Club

Contact the Queensland Weightlifting Association