Does Strength Training Really Slow The Growth Of Children?

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Since I was a young child, apparently every adult I have come in contact with has told me that we young people need to take weight training off until our minds and bodies are more mature.

They would mumble something about how it would “stunt your growth and shut down your growth plates,” and for decades now, weight training has been viewed as largely dangerous and counterproductive for young athletes who are not in the middle or in the middle. the end of their adolescence.

Fortunately, the wind is changing. Recent and past research has shown that weight training does not actually cause our epiphyseal plates to close.

A 2017 study indicates that “current opinion of experts in the field supports the belief that (resistance training) before the epiphysis is closed is not inherently harmful (13). Prospective studies that provided effective supervision and counseling have shown no increased incidence of physical injury in weightlifting children (2024). “

This does not mean that there is no risk in resistance training. When performed incorrectly, you increase your risk of epiphyseal plaque injury. If the damage is severe enough and there is an early closure of the physicist, limb length abnormalities can occur when one arm or leg stops growing but the other does not. Surgery is an option in these cases. Alternatively, mating cartilage fractures can also stimulate further growth in the limb, again leading to incompatible limb sizes. However, there is a risk of this type of injury in any type of sports activity. It is therefore totally unfair and ridiculous to classify weight training as riskier than other sports and athletic activities.

Dr Mel Stiff further dismisses the myth that bodybuilding has a negative impact on growth in his book Fitness facts and fallacies. “It has never been scientifically or clinically shown that the periodic imposition of large forces by weight training on the growing body causes damage to the epiphyseal plaques,” writes Siff. Siff notes that bone density scans have found that young people who compete in weightlifting actually have higher bone density than those who don’t weight training, as they do in adults.

A 2009 review Posted in Sport Health states that “Participation in almost any type of sport or recreation carries a risk of injury. A well-supervised strength training program does not present an inherent risk greater than that of any other sport or activity for young people … A well-designed strength training program following recommended weights, sets and repetitions adapted to age and habit The body of the young athlete should not overly stress the growth plates. Sports such as gymnastics and baseball, which involve repetitive impacts and torques, present a greater risk of epiphyseal injury … Rare cases of epiphyseal plate fractures associated with strength training are attributed to improper use improper weight lifting, use of improper technique, or training without the supervision of a qualified adult.

When you look at the facts, smart weight training conducted under the supervision of a skilled person is actually one of the safest and most beneficial physical activities a young person can undertake. And a little can go a long way. Research and experience indicate that this population can gain gains for some time using moderately heavy weights in the 5-8 rep range. This is the approach I take with all of my kids, and we had no problem.

It’s also important to remember that strength training doesn’t have to include a barbell. There are thousands of ways to get stronger using bands, bodyweight, medicine balls, and light dumbbells. If you think you have a kid ready to start strength training, read STACK’s guide on the topic.

Photo credit: kwanchaichaiudom / iStock

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