Teens and Weight Lifting: Facts vs Fiction
FALLACY OR FACT?
The subject of teens and weight lifting has been a controversial topic for many years. This has been a concern to many parents in deciding whether they believe lifting weights is dangerous to teenagers. Common misunderstood claims portrayed by the media and here-say indicate lifting weights stunts a child’s growth. They also claim it will fracture their growth plates and limit any future physical potential for that child. However, there is no evidence of this. Teenagers lifting weights is a fantastic way to support health, sporting performance, and optimal movement patterns.
LIFTING SAFELY & CONFIDENTLY
The risk of ‘injury’ when lifting is usually the first cab off the rank when looking at the cons involved with teens and weight lifting. However, the risk of injury is mitigated by a qualified movement professional supervising the movement. Research support findings that injury rates for young athletes participating in weightlifting and powerlifting are lower than contact sports.
In 2003 there was a study looking at weight lifting in teenagers. It found after 1 year of weight training, teenagers didn’t display any injuries that got in the way of their training requirements. It’s also been shown that teenagers can attempt a 1 rep max without fear of injury when provided with proper technique and appropriate supervision. Wow… how do you think that would be for a confidence booster as a teenager? Actually, knowing how strong you can be and what you can achieve with a bit of guidance and support. Conversely, there are still injuries that occur from teenagers lifting weights but it all comes down to ONE factor.. poor adult supervision.
TEENS AND WEIGHT LIFTING: BUILDING STRENGTH AND DURABILITY
There are many benefits to including weightlifting as a part of teenage fitness programs. Firstly, training as a teen can promote normal bone formation and growth. It’s been shown that youth weightlifters for example have a greater bone mineral density than other athletes. Next, obviously, is strength. Because – what teenager out there doesn’t want to feel strong and capable?
Growing muscles requires slightly different training techniques – which we will save for another blog post. Thirdly, lifting weights might even limit the amount of injury risk in other sports. So, like most kids in their teens who play different sports all year round and have other hobbies which include physical activity outside of school, lifting weights may serve to protect against injury.
The main take-away is that weight training is safe for teenagers. As long as they train under the guidance and supervision of a qualified Brisbane exercise physiologist and have been medically cleared. A great way to do this would be during any of the Pivotal Motion exercise classes where several different exercises can be completed in any on session exposing the individual to a variety of movements. As the Jedi say “May the force be with you”. Force being, in this case, a loaded barbell during a squat. Sorry not sorry for the Star Wars pun! Happy lifting.
Need help developing a training program or want to learn how to optimise your current training regime with tweaks to your technique? Reach out to our friendly and professional sports physio team today. Book Online or call us on 07 3352 5116 to schedule a session with our physiotherapy Brisbane team.