This is more of an ethical question for you than a fitness related one. In general, exercise is good for kids and adults alike. But weight training in young children demands more than a few questions other than what weights to start with.
For example, if you are wondering whether your child would benefit from weight training or not, then here is some information that may help you. In general, children can start this at any age. From the moment they are first learning to hoist their toys, they are weight lifting. But if they are weight training with hand weights, then they need to do this under the supervision of a qualified trainer.
Still, before you start considering weight training, you need to figure out what are the goals you or your child have for this training. Are you looking to improve their ability in a sport>? Then you are better off concentrating on the sport itself than on actual weight training.
For example, my daughter dances and rides horses – and she’s building very strong leg muscles. The two sports use different muscle groups within the legs and regular practice in both are building up her strength and her endurance as well as her flexibility. The idea is more about improvement than building.
If you are looking for your child to actually strength train, then you are better off waiting for testosterone to begin production in their bodies. This won’t happen until after puberty. In the meanwhile, you can focus their attention on the activities of their chosen sport.
For balance training, you can have them walking along the low, one foot walls found in many playground areas. For building arm strength, have them play on the monkey bars and hand-walking bars where they walk, hand over hand across. For leg strength and endurance, they can walk, ride their bikes, run and play.
Remember that your child is better off doing exercises that help develop their whole body and not just targeting specific areas. They are growing and developing, so it’s important to take care of their muscle health even while building their strength – this includes eating nutritiously and getting plenty of sleep.
Are you interested in strength training for your child?