One of the peculiar things about my home country of India is that fitness awareness and education here is at least a good 5-10 years behind the west. And while this presents us the wonderful opportunity to skip ahead to the present curve while avoiding the mistakes and misconceptions others have had to go through…unfortunately, that isn’t really happening despite my best efforts.
Because of this, even today, I find myself tackling myths that have seemingly been buried years ago.
One such myth is the idea that lifting weights can stunt/slow height growth of growing children/adolescents.
So if you’re a young kid or a concerned parent who’s clicked on this article to see whether you/your kid is in the clear to lift weights without risking living life as a midget (or as is known in our community, a “manlet”); then you’ve come to the right place.
But hey, even if you’re not and you actually do know the answer to this already; I encourage you to stick around because not only am I going to be answering the question but more importantly I’m going to cover the WHY.
And this WHY is EXTREMELY important because once you know why, you’ll not only know the answer to whether lifting weights would stunt your growth; you’d also be informed against the other side of coin i.e promises of increasing your height.
Believe it or not, there are actually some “professionals” here in India that promote and sell ‘Height growth programs’!
Stuff like “Grow tall with ________” (Insert name of a VERY popular “holistic health” expert in India who, ironically, is himself barely 5 feet tall!)
Now while such unethical quacks and charlatans will never cease to try to SCAM you; you on the other hand can become AWARE and INFORMED enough to know better than to fall for their crap. And that is what this article attempts to accomplish.
So, diving right into it… The number one concern for kids lifting weights is the fear of stunting their growth. To understand why this happens or not, let’s look at how bones grow:
Plain and simple, it grows from cartilage and develops into actual bone. Now when the bone is still the age of a child or teen, it looks like this:
That’s the picture of the lower leg bones. See how the growth plate (cartilage) on the left is open and hasn’t sealed yet? That means there’s room for growth. And the big question is that, does weight training stop that growth plate from growing or closing up too soon?
That’s the question I’ll answer in my video below now that you’ve got a primer on bone growth. Just click the link below to get the whole story.
P.S. has the fear of stunting your growth kept you from lifting weights at an earlier age? After you see this video, does it make you want to go back to change how you did things? Comment below!