T Nation

Squats Stunt Growth?

I’m 13 years old. Today when I was doing squats, some highschoolers came up to me and told me you should never do squats until your in highschool becuase it stunts your growth. Should I listen to them or just do what I’m doing?

[quote]fartmonkey64 wrote:
I’m 13 years old. Today when I was doing squats, some highschoolers came up to me and told me you should never do squats until your in highschool becuase it stunts your growth. Should I listen to them or just do what I’m doing?[/quote]

I’m not an expert but in my opinion the best thing to do would be to spend the next 3 years learning how to squat extremely light weights with flawless technique and form. If you learn form while you are young you will be one step ahead when your body is ready to go heavy. And if you keep it light, for now, you don’t have to worry about fucking your body up.

i heard bench press stunted your growth from some friend when i was in hs. i did them anyway and grew to 6’4. i dont see any harm in doin squats as long as you make sure you really focus on your form and not fall into the hs trend of loading up the bar and going about 1/4 of the way down.

Sitting on your butt stunts growth. Not eating stunts growth. squating aids grotwh. Lifting aids growoth of bones.The loads you put on the bones now forces them to become denser stronger store more calcium so in later years your well ahead.

I agree learn flawless form but I dont think you should stay extremely light for three years. Work up SLOW stay in the 8-12 rep range for a year or so. But dont lolly gag work hard learn the form but bust your tail.

Then progress slowly drop the reps a bit after a year say going into the 5-8 zone,. then ltr maye some days SOME in the 3-5 and others high rep.

But simple answer NO

Lifting weights does not stunt growth. Perhaps if someone began hitting your knees with a sledge hammer for 2 hours a day, THEN your height may be stunted. I would be more worried about stunting growth by not eating enough (like many on this site seem to be doing) rather than lifting weights.

That rumor has been around for decades and it just isn’t true. I think mothers started it to keep their babies from getting hurt by that bad 'ole weight room.

I do think most kids are too immature at that age and these are usually the ones you see playing on the damn machines with their friends and then breaking the fucking lat pulldown right before you plan to train back.

Damaging your growth plates can stunt your growth. So if you hurt yourself you may damage your growth plates and stunt your growth.

I have an Athletic Development class for Junior high/Senior High school kids and am asked this all the time. I also coach university Volleyball and both the women’s and men’s teams have some fairly tall players who have been hiting the weights for some time.

While you are in this growth stage of life (growing vertically, at least) and are involved in sports, you NEED added muscle and strength to prevent injury and aid in performance.

As was mentioned before, eat properly and eat lots.

Remember, the main thing that will “stunt” your growth is genetics.

There is no such thing as ‘Growth Plates’.

You have 2 parts of a bone. Epiphysis and Diaphysis. The Epiphysis is the tip of the bone, which is the part that grows.

Squatting will not stunt your growth or damage your ‘growth plates’. Unless you try squatting 1000lbs. Which would probably kill you instead.

Like Prof X said, the only thing that will stunt your growth is not eating enough.

Also im proof that not eating enough can stunt your growth. My mom is 5’8" and my dad is 6’1". I ate very little amounts of food for almost a year and ended up at 100lbs, I’m only 5’ 7" at 17 years old. =/

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Lifting weights does not stunt growth. Perhaps if someone began hitting your knees with a sledge hammer for 2 hours a day, THEN your height may be stunted. I would be more worried about stunting growth by not eating enough (like many on this site seem to be doing) rather than lifting weights.

That rumor has been around for decades and it just isn’t true. I think mothers started it to keep their babies from getting hurt by that bad 'ole weight room.

I do think most kids are too immature at that age and these are usually the ones you see playing on the damn machines with their friends and then breaking the fucking lat pulldown right before you plan to train back.[/quote]

I’m sure the rumor also got started because shorter guys tend to have an advantage in powerlifing and Olympic lifting given the shorter levers. So it spawned the post hoc ergo propter fallacious reasoningg of "Guys who lift weights are short. Therefore, lifting weights stunts growth.

" Based on that logic, if I had played more basketball as a kid, I would have grown to 6’6". Oh wait, I did play lots of basketball with the neighborhood kids because I was taller than they were. I didn’t quite make it to 6’6".

This was a fear. Science has proven it completely wrong. Keep lifting.

Give yourself a good year of building a base. Get a coach if you can - I recommend finding a NSCA CSCS - some will give a discounted rate or just give you one healthy session.

Work on doing the important stuff that will give you the mass you need to move forward - yes, squats, lunges, deadlifts (learn them right, learn them early, never bend at the waist when lifting, only at the hips). Learn bench presses, rows, military press, lat pulldowns or pullups. Be mature - if you can’t do the lift at that weight, don’t mess up your spine to try.

Increase your weight over time. You’ll want to start with 15-20 reps if you’re a beginner. Move up after at least a few months to 10-15. Give yourself a full year before you’re tackling 8-10 or less.

I’d recommend getting the “Magnificient Mobility” DVD now, before you worry about injury. Remember that static stretching is ok after a workout.

Keep your nutrition in check. It doesn’t mean you have to miss being a kid, but make sure you’re getting lean sources of complete protein, like extra-lean beef, chicken, etc. Have vegetables with every meal - find the ones you like. Pack yourself snacks you can munch on between classes, like some nuts (peanuts are not nuts. Use walnuts, almonds, etc) with some vegetables. If you can get something into your mouth every 3 hours, you’ll be doing well. Allow yourself to cheat when you’re out with your friends on weekends - give yourself 4 “cheats” a week.

If you do that much, you will be one of the happiest guys in high school and beyond. Everything else you do will be a bonus. If you start taking fish oil now, if you take in your complex carbs and protein after working out starting now, etc, you’ll be even further ahead - but if you can’t handle that much, don’t think “all or nothing”. Doing most of this (even if you can’t do it all) will give you one of the most elite physiques in your class in a few years and certainly in your life.

Learn the habits of taking care of yourself, setting short-term and long-term goals, and following through without procrastination. Learn to add one habit a month to what you’re already doing, instead of trying to “do it all” and getting discouraged and quitting. This will serve you well in all aspects of your life.

Also, make sure you pay attention to your posture now. I would recommend that you google all the 5-part “Neanderthal no More” series now, even if you don’t get it all now. Keep your shoulders healthy - exterior rotations, cap push-ups, abductions, posterior deltoid work, lower trap work. All these exercises are covered in that article. That stuff doesn’t take long, but you will have the heaviest bench of any kid in school if you keep your shoulders healthy.

I realize that this is much more than you were asking for, but hey, you might find some of it useful.

[quote]fartmonkey64 wrote:
I’m 13 years old. Today when I was doing squats, some highschoolers came up to me and told me you should never do squats until your in highschool becuase it stunts your growth. Should I listen to them or just do what I’m doing?[/quote]

If you do squats the morning of your first day of high school before you actually go it will stunt your growth. If you wait until that night after you’re officially in high school it won’t.

Seriously, recent studies have shown that even pre adolescents who engage in weight training appropriate for their age show marked health benefits and no problems. This is just another piece of lore from days of old.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
fartmonkey64 wrote:
I’m 13 years old. Today when I was doing squats, some highschoolers came up to me and told me you should never do squats until your in highschool becuase it stunts your growth. Should I listen to them or just do what I’m doing?

If you do squats the morning of your first day of high school before you actually go it will stunt your growth. If you wait until that night after you’re officially in high school it won’t.

Seriously, recent studies have shown that even pre adolescents who engage in weight training appropriate for their age show marked health benefits and no problems. This is just another piece of lore from days of old.

–Tiribulus->[/quote]

I gotta say, I’m really pissed. I’m 6’5". NOW I learn that if I hadn’t been squatting all this time, I coulda been in the NBA. I’d probably be, like, 7’3". Dang.

Does wearing a squatting belt have anything to do with stunting growth?

Will wearing a belt decrease the chances of stunting growth?

[quote]Baller1950 wrote:
Does wearing a squatting belt have anything to do with stunting growth?

Will wearing a belt decrease the chances of stunting growth?[/quote]

No, well it may stunt core musculature growth. It supports your core so the core doesnt have to do as much.

A belt is a tool to be used not a crutch.

[quote]Baller1950 wrote:
Does wearing a squatting belt have anything to do with stunting growth?

Will wearing a belt decrease the chances of stunting growth?[/quote]

Did you read the thread at all?

You know, I can see how nature would handle this.

Children growing up obviously never play or help with any chores, after all, that would stunt their growth, because they might exert themselves.

[quote]vroom wrote:
You know, I can see how nature would handle this.

Children growing up obviously never play or help with any chores, after all, that would stunt their growth, because they might exert themselves.
[/quote]

Ah but vroom it does stunt there growth. Their horizontal, growth. Or maximal diameter.

As for the stunting of growth topic: pretty much nothing that has to do with training will stunt your growth.

Genetics will determine how tall you get: not squats or squat belts, smoking, or jerking off, though you might go blind. Just kidding.

I wish I could stunt my growth so I could be stronger and live longer…