How Old Do You Have to Be to Go to the Gym? (According To Experts)

For years now people have been setting their own minimum age to go to the gym. They base their opinions on myths and unproven hypotheses. How many times has an adult told you that working out at a young age can stunt your growth?

Contrary to what the grown-ups might say, there is no proper gym age limit. And for good reason, considering that exercising is as important for a child as it is for an adult.

For well-rounded, holistic physical and mental development, kids need to engage in healthy activity during their early years. Children all around the world would be really displeased when they figure out that playgrounds exist so that they can exercise, not goof around!

Nevertheless, some parents do not want to rely entirely on playgrounds and P. Ed teachers for their kids’ workouts. The question then arises – is there any fixed age scale for a healthy gym experience?

Let’s find out together.

How Old Do You Have to Go to the Gym?

How Old Do You Have to Go to the Gym

Nowadays, there is no minimum age requirement for gym enthusiasts. You can enjoy working out in peace, doesn’t matter if you are a 2-year-old toddler or a 60-year-old grandpa.

There is a whole lot of confusion swirling around the topic – what is the universally accepted minimum gym age requirement? Personally, it feels like a forced conversation that parents have made up to ease their own anxiety.

Truth is, hitting the gym during your developmental phase as a kid will not harm your body physically. Lifting heavy weights will not stunt your growth or decrease your height either. All of these are myths and should not stop you from attempting to better yourself.

There are, however, plenty of details that one must keep in mind if one wants to start a health-based lifestyle a little earlier than usual. For instance, youngsters (below 14 years of age) should rely mostly on cardio exercises.

Sure, lifting weights might not stunt your growth. But they may lead to some injuries if a youngster with a fragile bone structure is not working out in the proper form. Because their bones are still developing, the risk of unwanted injuries is greater.

For instance, lifting more than what a kid can handle could lead to serious, possibly chronic injuries such as coccyx misalignment (in case of lower back exercises) or tennis elbow (in case of arm-based exercises).

Secondly, keeping track of your age becomes important when you factor in the mental aspect of going to the gym. A fitness enthusiast would agree that going to the gym can lead to almost an unhealthy obsession.

While regularly working out and making a career out of it is a good option for adults, the same might translate to a negative impact on a child’s future and present. If all they think about is going to the gym and working out during their crucial developmental stage, it could lead to some problematic consequences.

The answer, therefore, is clear. Children as young as 2 to 10 can benefit from the gym only if they work out in a carefully supervised and structured environment. Mostly at this age, it would be preferable for them to engage in bodyweight and cardio exercises.

Teenagers and pre-teens can start engaging in lightweight workouts when they reach between the ages of 11 and 15. Indeed, many experts and doctors recommend that teenagers should make it a habit to devote at least an hour to a healthy exercising regime every day.

What is the Right Age to go to the Gym?

What is the Right Age to go to the Gym

Children as young as 2 can start hitting the gym, as long as they are engaging in activities meant for toddlers, such as motor and throwing exercises. Pre-teens and teenagers can work out with weights but under strict supervision. Only after turning 18 should people really start hitting the accelerator on their gym routines as they will reap the most benefits during this period.

Gone are the days when gyms were all about lifting heavy weights and roaming around shirtless. Nowadays, going to the gym comprises a more holistic definition.

The introduction of children’s gyms, for instance, is a good addition to society. Parents can induct their kids into these structured fitness clubs as early as the child’s 2nd birthday.

For kids struggling with or looking to improve their motor skills, hitting the gym during their toddler phase will help out a lot. It will also instill a habit of engaging in healthy activities, which may be a huge plus in shaping a healthy lifestyle for the child.

Between the ages of 4 and 6, these children can move on to somewhat more complex exercises such as running, jumping, and skipping. At this crucial point of development, the kids will stand to gain a lot from such efforts, including enhanced muscles, greater strength, healthy habits, and a keen sense of sportsmanship and other skills.

The 7-12 age group can enjoy greater freedom and flexibility. They can figure out what sports and exercises they like the best, and devise their workout regimes. They can also choose the number of times they want to hit the gym per week.

The last age bracket spans 13-18 years. Here, children can start working out in a more structured environment, opting to pay great emphasis on either cardio exercises or strength training. Doing so will pave way for them to switch gears when they turn 18, the period where exercising will usually reap the most benefits.

Can a 14-Year-Old Go to the Gym?

Yes, a pre-teen can stand to gain a lot from a healthy lifestyle, especially if they devote a significant amount of time to working out under structured supervision. 14-year-old children can start lightweight lifting and engage in more complicated workout regimes.

In fact, many doctors and sports experts recommend that children only start working out properly after turning 14. Of course, the definition of “working out” is purely subjective and younger age groups can hit the gym as well.

There shouldn’t be a lot of restrictions for a pre-teen when it comes to going to the gym. The only condition, of course, is that they exercise under the supervision of a trained expert at the gym.

Is It Okay to Work Out at 12 Years Old?

Yes, it is certainly alright if you start working out at 12 years of age. For a healthier and safer approach, you should try hitting the cardio exercises at this point. However, under structured and carefully supervised environments, 12-year-olds can start hitting lightweight workouts too.

At this sensitive age, you should be clear as to what a fitness-centric lifestyle would entail. Skipping past everything else and going straight to lifting weights and engaging in strength training could be problematic.

A 12-year-old child can hit the gym, but it will only be beneficial if they start slow and focus more on cardio and bodyweight exercises.

Don’t miss:

Can Teenagers Go to Planet Fitness
Gyms with Childcare
Gyms with Student Discounts
Gyms with Indoor Tracks

Can My 11-Year-Old Go to the Gym?

Yes, an 11-year-old child is okay to hit the gym. But for their own safety and to avoid any recurring injuries, they should only engage in beneficial exercises such as pushups, pull-ups, running, skipping, and so on. They should wait a while before they start lifting.

One should understand that going to the gym does not give anyone leeway to engage in whatever workout regime they want. Instead, gyms provide a safe, structured space for children and adults of all age groups to engage in activities beneficial for them.

Can a 9-Year-Old Go to the Gym?

For a 9-year-old, going to the gym is not as necessary as for children of other age groups. It would be recommended that they exercise under parental supervision at home.

But if the parents cannot devote a significant amount of time and attention to their child’s workout progress, they can start seeking out holistic gyms that focus on all kinds of activities – cardio, strength, sports, and so on.

A 9-year-old should have a proper trainer and diet plan if they want to work out without compromising on their health. They should also only focus on lightweight exercises that do not involve any lifting.

What is the Minimum Age to go to the Gym?

What is the Minimum Age to go to the Gym

In the modern day, there is no minimum age requirement for gym. If you are a fitness enthusiast and want to lead such a lifestyle, you can start working your way up from as young as 2 years of age.

Of course, it is recommended that one only starts lifting weights and engage in strength training after they turn 14, but other exercises like skipping and running are accessible to younger kids.

Don’t miss:

Gym Etiquette Rules
Workout Bag Essentials
When Is The Gym Least And Most Busy
Gyms with Free Trials & Passes

Final Verdict

Gone are the days when parents should look out for the minimum gym age limit for a healthy workout experience. Now even toddlers can start working their way up by joining the gym and engaging in simple motor exercises.

One must remember that going to the gym does not just mean lifting heavy weights and building large muscle mass. It’s about working on your body from all fronts – whether it involves improving motor abilities, enhancing stamina, or getting healthier.

Irrespective of what age you start at, going to the gym can be a risky affair and requires deep attention to detail. Lead a healthy lifestyle, but be safe while doing that.