Parents: Learn the truth about weightlifting for kids (aged 10-13)
“Is weightlifting safe for my 10 year old son?”
“Will it stunt my daughters’ growth?”
We get asked this question all the time, and to be honest, at only 5’9” and an avid weightlifter myself, any response I give is usually met with resistance and skepticism from concerned parents.
The assumption is that I’m bias because I own a gym, and I love lifting weights
That’s totally fair. So, don’t take it from me.
I’ve done the work for you of scouring the internet to find all of the
evidence that weightlifting stunts the growth of young kids (10-13 years old) …
there is none!
In fact, this has been proven to be a myth and there is 0 evidence to show that weightlifting will stunt a childs’ growth.
The origin of this myth comes from the idea that children that fracture their growth plates for any reason can limit their growth. The good news is that lifting weights, when done under supervision of a professional, does NOT cause damaged growth plates.
Here’s a quote from someone way more qualified than myself on this topic:
“Dr. Rob Raponi, a naturopathic doctor and certified sports nutritionist, says the misconception that lifting weights stunts growth likely stems from the fact that injuries to growth plates in immature bones can stunt growth.
However, he points out that this is something that can result from poor form, weights that are too heavy, and a lack of supervision. But it’s not the result of lifting weights correctly”
That means that you love your kids enough to question these things, and may want to do your OWN research instead of listening to some bum on the internet.
I get it, I’m a father too.
So, if you don’t trust some meathead who wrote an article on a gyms blog, here are some highly credible sources of information from people way smarter than myself, that have done the hard work of investigating this claim.
1. “Conclusion: Experimental training protocols with
weights and resistance machines and with supervision and low instructor/participant ratios are relatively safe and do not negatively impact growth and maturation of pre- and early-pubertal youth.
2. “Although numerous myths surround weightlifting,
there had been no scientifically backed studies that confirmed that the exercise regimen itself is the primary cause of growth decline.
What is supported by scientific research is the benefits of weightlifting for children and teens who are supervised by training experts.” https://www.medicaldaily.com/weightlifting-stunt-growth-what-experts-think-431141
Most studies have actually concluded that with the proper supervision, equipment and training protocol, lifting weights can be just as safe for children as any other type of physical activity.
For example, a 2012 comprehensive review concluded that
“there is no evidence indicating that weightlifting, and more generally resistance training, is especially injurious to the epiphyses or has a direct correlation with reductions in eventual growth height
in young athletes.” https://dioxyme.medium.com/does-lifting-weights-stunt-growth-2019-dr-review-29b6318a7c83
…In all of these studies, the experts always mention that weightlifting should be done properly under the supervision of a professional.
If you let your 9 year old run wild at the YMCA, then they may hurt themselves and damage growth plates… But I’m going to assume that’s not what you’re doing.
If you are convinced that resistance training is safe for your kids, and you’re looking for a program to help them build strength and improve performance in their sports then I hope you’ll consider checking out Gage Strength Training here in West Chester, PA!