Does Weight Lifting Stunt Growth?

Posted by Young Athlete, 14 year old:

I’ll try StrongLifts 5×5 when track season comes. I won’t Deadlift since I’m not fully grown and don’t want to stunt my growth.

Proof Weight Lifting Doesn’t Stunt Growth. Olympic Weight Lifters have to start at a young age to get to the top. Check out the heavier weight classes: plenty of tall guys.

Dave Draper, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, Karl Malone, Michael Vick, … All started lifting weights in their early teens and are over 6′ /1m82 tall.


Where The Myth Comes From.
Children & adolescents have growth plate at the end of most bones. Growth plate regulates the length & shape of bones. Bone grows around growth plate, not from the center outward.

Growth plate is the last part of bones to harden. This makes it more vulnerable to fractures which can cause problems like unequal bone length. Weight lifting can stunt your growth if you damage growth plate.


The Truth.
You don’t get hit on your ankles & knees during weight lifting like with Soccer. You don’t get collisions like in Football. The only way you can fracture your bones is by letting weights fall on you like this guy.

Weight lifting remains the safest sport when done correctly. Safety depends on proper technique, which your learn best using light weights.


Weight Lifting for Youth
. Weight lifting strengthens bones & muscles which can prevent injuries in other activities. Weight lifting builds character: persistence, self-control, confidence,… It sets the trend for a healthy lifestyle, keeping youth away from unhealthy ones.

Weight lifting recommendations for youth:

  • Supervision. All exercises must be done with proper technique. Stop bad technique immediately & discourage it.
  • Warm-up. Warm muscles are harder to injure than cold ones. Always start with an empty barbell & do plenty of warm up sets.
  • Technique. You can’t put any weight on the barbell until you can do your exercises correctly. This will act motivating.
  • Stay Away From Failure. Technique deteriorates with heavy attempts. No 1 rep max. Start with an empty barbell, add weight each workout.

Weight lifting stunting your growth is one of the many myths still going around. Some believe weight lifting can actually stimulate growth because of increased bone mineralization.

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