One of the most ridiculous things I have heard parents and physical education teachers saying is ‘lifting weights can stunt a child's height and growth'. The truth of the matter, in fact, is far from what your parents and teachers have been telling you for years. Lifting weights around the time you hit puberty or your teenage years does not stunt your height. Matter of fact, since weight training is directly related to increased production of testosterone, it might just help your muscle grow bigger, denser and stronger, even taller. Here, I'll talk a bit about the science of it all which has proven that lifting weights during your adolescent phase does not hamper your height.
This myth is not just prevalant in India, in fact globally a lot people are living with this misconception. There is a level of manipulation to this myth, which is, lift weights but do not lift above the shoulders or may do not put any weight over your shoulders as it will stunt your growth. Now I want you to ponder on this- if you observe the bags of school going children, you will see that they carry around 10-12 kg of weight over their shoulders when they go to their school. If lifting weights especially over the shoulders would hamper height, then not even a single child would have grown taller. No even one, period.
The Science Behind Height Growth
During your growing phase, the long bones of your body increases the size of plates located at the head of the bones called epiphyseal plates. A proliferation of osteocyte cells (cells that make up bone tissue) results in the increase in the length of your bones which further increases the height of your body. As a matter of fact, there is not even a single study that proves that lifting weights can cause stunted height. The only risk of lifting weights during your adolescent phase is getting an injury due to ego lifting. However, this hindrance can be tamed by training under expert supervision aka a certified coach.
Another interesting fact that contradicts this myth is that lifting weights during your teenage years can rather improve your height instead of stunting it. Now, here is the logic, during that phase, the body is at its peak at producing testosterone (the body's anabolic hormone) and various other growth hormones. Therefore, weight training then could be a boon for the body, both from an appearance standpoint as well as a health perspective. Now, stop believing in this bro-science and just let them teenagers move some iron!