Hey all- Not sure if this already has been posted/answered, but i was just curious. I am currently 18 and started lifting for just over 6 months and i would still like to grow a inch or 2. But from some people, cant be sure if they are all reliable, they say that doing too many squats can hinder growth and make you shorter. Is that true? Why?
I would really like to stil grow, so if i stop doing squats, would i have a better chance to still go? I am only 5'9; want to be 5'10 or 5'11.
Can i just ask why? I heard other people say that squating/DLing doesnt hurt your growth, but when you are squatting say 250 for 20 reps a workout, wouldnt that create some type of pressure on the knees and spine and just "squish you"? haha
Well, I will take a contrarian approach here. During my medical physical prior to college (1998), I was measured at 5'11". This past year and the two years prior, I've been consistently measured at 5'10". Now I cannot unequivocally say that things like squats and deadlifts caused this, but I don't dismiss the notion so easily based upon my personal experience. Even if the squats and deadlifts were the cause of this, I do not ever regret doing them. Besides like BSrunner said, you could probably do some hangs to help mitigate any concerns.
Your spine and joints naturally compress throughout the day. You can shrink an inch or more, but laying horizontally for a little as 20-30 mins can rehydrate your spine and you can gain most of the height back. That's why your always taller in the morning. So iwong, if you are measuring yourself at night, do it in the morning and you'll be 5'11" again.
Haha, I wish I could get that inch back, but the measurement taken this year was done first thing in the morning (I didn't even eat breakfast since I had to be fasted for the blood draw). I'm pretty sure its gone.
I hate to disagree with all of you fine gents, but it heavy squatting and deadlifting can actually effect your height. High level power lifters (I mean very advanced guys, e.g. Dave Tate) have been reported to shrink an inch or two since they started lifting.
Now, bear in mind that they squat / deadlift weights for reps heavier than most of us will ever lift for a single, and we're talking guys who've been lifting for over 20 years. These will also probably be guys whose only soft tissue work is when they use one because of a nose bleed due to the pressure of lifting all that heavy shit.
Saying that, you're young and you're not an advanced powerlifter, so quit worrying about it.
2) If placing a heavy bar on your back can compress your spine, then why can't hanging from a bar "decompress" your spine? There isn't any scientific proof either way, but at the worst hanging from a bar for three sets of 30 seconds won't hurt anybody (in fact it can increase your grip) and at the best it will alleviate OP's concerns and allow him to "shut up and lift"
Hanging from a bar and releasing tension in the bottom position doesn't affect spinal decompression at all. What ends up happening is hyper-elevation and abduction which creates scapulothoracic laxity and sub-acromial impingement.
The load of your hips and legs isn't enough to create space or decompress your vertebral column. Even if you had additional load you would only be further shifting it to your shoulder musculature not your spine.
Further, The premise of somehow pulling apart the vertebrae is totally bunk, because the cartilaginous discs between them are attached to both adjacent vertebrae by intermediate connective tissues and trying to pull them apart would just contribute to tissue damage to the semi-rigid structures(ligaments/fascia).
The only way to "decompress" the spine is to allow it enough time in a NEUTRAL position to rehydrate properly.
If you are repetitively applying compressive stresses without enough tissue quality work and lying rest, the inter-vertebral space can be chronically narrowed because of general loss of elasticity.
So, like in every other joint problem lifters experience, if you rest and recover properly including stretching, mobility, and myofascial release work, you'll avoid injuries and chronic joint stress conditions including in the spine.