Does Weight Training Stunt Growth?
It is a widely held belief that weight training can stunt growth when performed by children and adolescents. In fact, no study has ever shown that lifting weights inhibits growth and numerous studies have concluded that resistance training is relatively safe for growing bodies.
This common misconception is often surfaced by the belief that lifting weights damages the growth plates in young people. However, what many don’t realise is that sport itself subjects children to far greater forces than you’ll find in a weights room. Think about the impacts that running, jumping and tackling have on the bones and joints of our body.. then ask yourself why we won’t let little Johnny pick up a light dumbbell?
Research suggests that resistance training, when performed appropriately and with good technique, provides a number of benefits for children. These include improved strength, power and builds more resilient bodies with even stronger bones and joints. Strength training also helps reduce the risk of fractures and prevents sport-related injuries.
It is recommended by the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association that children are at least 6 years old before undertaking resistance training, provided that they have the maturity to follow instructions and understand the dangers at hand. It’s important to begin weight training under the guidance of a professional to learn correct lifting techniques and program appropriately to your ability.
If you’re interested in developing a structured weights program for your child, come in and speak with the team at PhysioWest!