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That means a healthy 10-year-old boy can be looking at some 1,000lbs on his joints—which is way more than anyone’s suggesting he squat.

If your kid is already past 8, get him or her in now. “Strength training trains the muscles and the underlying neuromuscular system to enhance a child’s ability to run, jump, hop, and skip,” says Faigenbaum.In fact, resistance training can protect against injury and help nonathletic kids develop "physical literacy" to offset their sedentary lifestyles, according to a 2017 study published in Most kids are ready to start intentionally building strength by 7 or 8 years old, both experts agree. Obviously some kids aren’t quite ready at age 8, but Faigenbaum’s team does strength programs with kids as young as kindergarten.At that age, strength training looks like frog squats, bunny hops, hermit crab touches, and bear crawls across the yard or gymnasium—moves that are fun and solely intended to get kids moving in all different directions, starting to build up muscle naturally. Both say there is almost zero downside to strength training for children, as long as they’re doing a sound program and under proper instruction. S., professor of health and exercise science at the College of New Jersey, are two of the foremost researchers in the field of adolescent fitness and strength training.

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