Does Building Muscle Stunt Growth?

Someone once told me that lifting weights will stunt your growth when you are a teenager. So today we will be exploring if that is true or false.

There is no scientific evidence that children will stop growing by lifting weights. In fact, there are benefits that include:

  • increasing strength and bone strength index (BSI)
  • decreasing fracture risk and rates of sports-related injury
  • growing self-esteem and interest in fitness

However, the fact is that kids can cause injuries to growth plates in immature bones that can stunt their growth. This only occurs when they have poor form, lift too heavy of weights, and not have the proper supervision from an adult.

The shared thought among medical professionals is that weightlifting in kids under 18 is safe when properly applied according to Chris Wolf, DO, sports medicine and regenerative orthopedic specialist at the Bluetail Medical Group. Read More

How to Safely Lift Weights

  • Take it slow
  • Start easy
  • Make it fun and enjoyable
  • Have proper supervision

Taking it slow, if you are an adult can be hard because when you go to the gym you just want to lift as hard as you can like my friend tried doing the other day and that can hurt you from lifting more in the future.

Start easy, you should start lifting weights at a easy number. Don’t try and for your max on your first day at the gym or you will injury yourself. You need to start slow and at a weight you know you can lift for about 3 sets and 8-12 reps.

Make it fun and enjoyable, don’t try and force people or your kids to workout. You might make them hate it and never want to workout for the rest of their life just because you forced them to do it. If you just show them the right way to lift weights and how much fun it can be then they will enjoy it and continue to lift weights.

Have proper supervision, if you are a child or a first timer at the gym you need to have a friend, parent, or personal trainer to help you and show you how to properly lift weights because if you try and teach yourself you can have bad form and that can lead to you injuring yourself.

At What Age Should Kids Lift Weights?

Children can be too young to lift weights. Lifting weights before puberty may not be as beneficial until they get the proper hormones so that can they can build muscle and reap the full benefits.

The recommended age is when they become a teenager, you can however start them between the ages of 9-12 but they will not see much benefit until they become a teenager and start growing more. Read More

Conclusion

No, lifting weights does not stunt your growth when you are a teenager but having improper form and lifting super heavy can. I would recommend that all parents should bring their children (when they turn 13) to the gym. It not only gets them started on building muscle but also builds their character and shapes who they are as a person for the future.