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Is it safe for children to deadlift? | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

An eight-year-old’s video of weightlifting like a pro went viral recently. In the videos, Arshia Goswami from Haryana’s Panchkula can be seen deadlifting 60kgs. In 2021, she made it to the India Book of Records for lifting 45 kgs. As such, a natural question to ask is whether it is safe for children to do deadlifts or lift any kind of weight. Here’s what experts told us.

“Deadlifting for kids is a safe and effective way to improve their health, fitness, and overall well-being,” said Varun Rattan, co-founder, The Body Science Academy, Noida.

Lifting doesn’t stunt growth

One of the biggest myths surrounding deadlifting for children is that it stunts their growth. However, this is not true. Dr Ayyappan V Nair, Consultant – Shoulder Surgery, Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy, Manipal Hospital Whitefield, Sarjapur, and Jayanagar, Bangalore said it doesn’t affect growth. “At the same time, it’ll help in sport growth because whenever you’re loading, better growth is noted. The only catch is if you suffer from an injury, like a growth plate injury from a deadlift, then, you can have growth affection. Otherwise, it helps in the growth of the child,” said Dr Nair.

According to Rattan, deadlifts can help children develop good posture, which can make them appear taller. “It can also help them build muscle, which can make them stronger and healthier,” said Rattan.

Lifting weights is also good for children’s mental health, builds confidence, reduces stress levels and improves their self-esteem. It can also help them develop a positive body image and a healthy relationship with their bodies,” said Rattan.

Deadlift is safer than contact sports

We don’t worry too much about child’s safety in contact sports like football or hockey even though the former can lead to injuries like concussions, broken bones and sprains. “Deadlifting, on the other hand, is much safer. When done correctly, the deadlift is a low-impact exercise that can help children build strength and fitness without putting them at risk for injury,” Rattan elaborated.

Physical activity is very important for children’s health and wellbeing. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

When is the recommended age to weightlift?

Dr Nair said that the recommended age to start deadlifting is around 12 or 13 years of age. “The main reason is that the brain development of a child is complete only by around 12 years. Below that age, the child does not have proprioception (sense of self-movement, force and body position), as well as other functions of the brain are not properly developed. On average, a male can lift 1.6 times their body weight, while a female can lift 1.5 times their body weight,” said Dr Nair.

What to keep in mind when introducing your child to deadlifting

First, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase the weight and intensity of their workouts. “It’s also important to make sure that your child is using proper form and technique to avoid injury,” stressed Rattan. “You should also make sure that your child is using the appropriate weight and repetitions for their age and skill level. Finally, it’s important to make sure that your child enjoys deadlifts and doesn’t feel pressured to participate if they don’t want to,” added Rattan.

Proper form and technique for deadlifting

Deadlifting targets the muscles in the back, legs and glutes. Rattan detailed the steps. “To perform a deadlift, your child should stand with their feet shoulder-width apart and grip the bar with their hands. They should then lift the bar off the ground using their legs and back muscles, keeping their back neutral and their core engaged.”

Additional strength training exercises for children

In addition to deadlifting, there are many other strength training exercises that can benefit children. “These include squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups. These exercises can help children build strength, improve their balance and coordination, and reduce their risk of injury,” said Rattan.

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