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Weight Training for Boys

its the mom

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How early do boys start weight training as part of their curriculum? I have heard mixed reviews from teachers. Some say to start early, some caution starting too early because heavy lifting can stunt growth. So far, son is taking a private reformer class, and does push-ups on his own. He is in partnering class, but he is limited in his lifting ability. He is frustrated at times, but I remind him that he is 13, and the other guys are 16 and up. The only other young boy around his age is 15 and is built much bigger. I assume that it is size that we should be looking at, and not age or dance ability. Am I correct?

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I assume that it is size that we should be looking at, and not age or dance ability.  Am I correct?

I wouldn't call it size but rather physical maturity. It sounds like what your son is doing is enough for strength building with his added reformer work for right now.



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I have 4 sons involved in various physical activities and our doctor checked each before they began weight lifting as cross training. It has been a different age for each of the older 3 and youngest is not allowed yet. You might want to run this question by your doctor. I think it has to do with the body's physical maturity--alot like the girls with pointe shoes.

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It is quite astonishing the changes in a young boy between 13 & 15. I have a slender DK who felt everyone was more mature and "buff" than him. He felt upset that other boys that were his similar age were more muscular and built more. No matter how much I tried to remind him how tall his pediatrician had projected he was going to be, he could not hear me. Then almost overnight he began to get taller. It was so fast you could almost see it. Things have slowed a bit and now he seems to be bulking up. (I know he is going to be even taller) He is thrilled that now with a bit of weight training his muscles are becoming more defined and his legs are gaining strength. He has been taking Pilates for about 1 1/2 years and feels that it has helped his body deal with the growth, he has alot less knee & ankle pain when he takes it regularly. :)

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Have you noticed all the problems the boys have with movement when they start to grow? All of sudden skills they have mastered become impossible. If the boys didn't get so upset, it would be funny to see them try to control the new length of arms and legs. To see my son dance the year he started stretching out reminded me of a newborn calf or deer trying to walk.....oh well, this is kind of off subject.

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I agree they become very gangly and out of balance. This can be very frustrating to them. I often see summer program directors or people in powerful dance position also having seemingly no understanding or empathy for the problems they face. (often the least understanding comes from male teachers) It makes it very hard on them and when they dont have the strength to lift their legs or the girls in class they feel very inadequate and "unmanly". It can be tough on them right when the girls bodies are settling down and they are coming into their own.

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That's interesting, Memo. I find that it's the women who least understand him. They go on and on about how big and strong the other boys are, how tall they've gotten, how high they jump, etc. It's the male teachers who generally tell him to just be patient, that he's got everything there, he just needs to grow and fill out. There was one exception, and you're right, it was a pas teacher at a summer program. He called ds lazy because he couldn't do what the teacher wanted him to do - not for lack of trying, but for strength reasons.


It can all be quite frustrating - especially when he can technically do a part, but he's not tall or strong enough for the partnering.

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I think many of the summer program instructors (guest teachers) only work with adults and have no clue as to the teenagers development. They expect them to act and dance like adults and they can be very unforgiving. Not always but sometimes :shrug:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all!


I have been getting some conflicting info. regarding a good age for boys to start strengthening their upper bodies. (Had an old AD say that DS needed to start doing push ups and chin ups back at age 8! Eeek! :thumbsup: Yeah, that didn't go over well.)


Just curious when everyone thinks it's a good idea to start.


Thanks! :wub:

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I surely dont think that weight training is appropriate at this age. Just more along push-ups, etc. I only ask because I was told by the director of the SI he will be attending that the boys will be doing some extra strength conditioning. I suppose a trip to the pediatrician is in order, but I'm sure it will be fine.


I also wanted to see what other young boys were doing along these lines at the younger ages.

Thanks! :wub:


(Edited by moderator to reflect merged topics)

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My dancing son started upper body strength at home around age 10-however we live on a farm and many daily tasks probably had the same affect on his body. My gymnast son has been doing specific strength since age 5. Just don't use weights until the boys are older.

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I know I know!!

I'll send my son out to your place to work on your farm!


Problem solved!! :D:P:D


Lugging few feed bags never hurt anyone! :wink:


You could actually charge folks to send their kids there and call it an "intensive strength training program!"

I think we could be on to something! :mondieu:


Okay, maybe that was a little :blink: But it sounds like a good idea. It's a nice alternative to his current Game Cube addiction. :)

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