Does Weightlifting Make You Shorter?
Why do people believe that weightlifting stunts growth?
The misconception that lifting weights makes you shorter starts from the fact that hurting growth plates in immature bones can affect growth. But this is something that can happen due to poor forms, weights that are too heavy, and a lack of supervision.
One thing that the myth does not refer to is about participation in nearly any kind of physical activity or sport might bring a risk of injury. Almost 15 to 30 percent of all childhood fractures include growth plates .
As we know, growth plates are the cartilaginous areas of growing tissues at the end of bones. When a person reaches a certain age, these plates start becoming hardened bones. But during development, they are softer and more susceptible to damage. So, does that mean adolescents or teens should not lift weights to avoid damaging their growth plates?
The answer is still no. Weightlifting in children under 18 is still safe if properly applied.
How to lift weight correctly and safely?
Before lifting weights, you need to get your body warmed up to prevent injury. Start with a few minutes of light cardio or stretching exercises to get your blood flowing and muscles loosened up.
Select the proper weight
Choose a weight that challenges you but is still manageable. If you are a newbie, you should begin with lighter weights and work your way up to heavier weights gradually. As a general rule, it is fine to complete at least 8-12 reps of an exercise before fatigue sets in.
Use correct form
Correct form is essential for lifting weights safely and effectively. Make sure you understand the proper technique for each exercise you plan to perform and practice with the suitable weights until you master the form. Keep your spine neutral and engage your core muscles to protect your back.
Proper breathing is vital to lift weights correctly. Inhale deeply before starting an exercise and exhale as you raise or push the weight. Avoid holding your breath or this might lead to a dangerous increase in blood pressure.
Rest between sets
Resting allows your muscles time to recover, improving your overall strength gains. The amount of rest you need will depend on your fitness level and the intensity of your workout, but resting for 30-90 seconds between sets will be okay.
After your workout, cooling down is necessary to reduce the risk of injury and prevent muscle soreness. Stretch the muscles you worked on during your workout and focus on any areas that you feel tight or sore.
What are the health benefits of weightlifting?
Improve strength and muscle tone
One of the most obvious benefits of weightlifting is to promote strength and muscle tone. This workout might help increase muscle mass and strengthen overall strength, which can make daily tasks easier and prevent injuries.
Strengthen bone density
By putting stress on your bones during weightlifting exercises, the bones become stronger and denser. This lessens the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Muscle burns more calories than fat, so you can increase your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day by increasing muscle mass via lifting weights.
Promote sleep quality
Weightlifting might improve your sleep quality by reducing stress and anxiety as well as uplifting your mood. Getting adequate sleep is essential for overall health and well-being.
Improve heart health
Although this workout is not typically thought of as a cardiovascular exercise, it can still offer some benefits for your heart health. When you carry out it, your heart rate will increase, aiding your cardiovascular fitness over time.
Reduce the risk of injury
When you have a strong core and good posture, you are less likely to suffer from back pain or other injuries. Weightlifting is also helpful for improving your balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falls and other accidents.
Things to consider when lifting weights
Strains and sprains
Strains and sprains are some of the most common weightlifting injuries. They occur when a muscle or ligament is overstretched or torn. To prevent them, you need to warm up properly, use proper form and technique, and avoid lifting weights that are too heavy for your current fitness level.
Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon, which is a thick cord that connects muscle to bone. Because the repetitive motions during weightlifting can place stress on your tendons, you easily get tendinitis. Hence, the best way is that you should stretch before and after lifting weights, gradually increase the intensity of your workouts, and use proper form.
Lifting weights overhead or pulling them toward the body might lead to shoulder injuries. That is why you need to warm up carefully, have proper form, and avoid overtraining your shoulders.
Back injuries can happen when you lift weights that are too heavy or use improper form. So, using the correct form, engaging your core muscles, and gradually increasing the weight you are using is a must.
Last but not least, be careful of knee injuries while lifting weights as they can occur when you place too much stress on the knee joint or use incorrect form. Make sure you warm up before starting, engaging in the correct form, and avoid overtraining the knees.
Ways to lift weights to increase height
Focus on proper posture
Having a good posture can make you appear taller and more confident. When lifting weights, try to maintain proper posture and alignment to avoid straining your back and neck muscles. Engage your core and keep your shoulders down and back.
Stretching improves not only flexibility but also your posture. Add stretching into your weightlifting routine, especially targeting the muscles that tend to get tight, such as the hips and shoulders.
Combine weightlifting and cardio
Cardiovascular exercise is beneficial for your overall health and endurance. That is why you should combine it with your weightlifting routine to burn fat and build muscle. Try performing cardio before or after your weightlifting routine.
Eat a balanced diet
A wholesome and balanced diet with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats is essential for muscle growth and recovery. Make sure to fuel your body properly before and after weightlifting sessions.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for muscle recovery and growth. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to help your body recover from weightlifting sessions.
Consistency is crucial when it comes to weightlifting and seeing results. You need to stick to a regular weightlifting routine, then increase the weight and intensity over time.
Weightlifting cannot make you shorter or increase your height once your growth plates have fused. But this exercise is great for overall health and fitness as long as you take the proper precautions and use the proper form. Always warm up before performing it, use proper form, increase the weight you are lifting, and listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort during your workout, stop immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.