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I just reached out to ask you guys' ideas on weight lifting stunt growth myth. I am 15 years old, and I am 5"7" tall. I've been working out since last month, and I use a pair of dumbbells which is a bit heavy for me. I used to do overhead presses and bench presses, but was forced to stop it. So, I minimized my workout to the basics, and now I'm only doing push ups, dips, hammer curls, and dumbbell bicep curls. However, there still are people warning me and I wanted to make sure if this won't stunt my growth. My question is 1. Do overhead presses or bench presses stunt growth? 2. Do push up, dips, hammer curl, dumbbell bicep curls stunt growth? 3. Are there any other exercises that stunt growth?

  • A quick google search will answer this question. The answer is no. – Muntasir Alam Oct 4 '16 at 1:38
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    @MuntasirAlam - A quick google search will also find articles that propagate the myth. If you find a relevant study, post that instead of asking the OP to just trust you and your sources which you keep secret. – Alec Oct 4 '16 at 10:11
  • @Alec, or one could read scientific papers, none of which propagate that claim. But I agree I should post some links, will do when I'm at a desktop thanks. – Muntasir Alam Oct 4 '16 at 11:25
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There's no evidence to "weightlifting affecting growth" claims. People warn you because of several myth related to exercises. Do they workout? Do they have enough experience, or are they certified or qualified when it comes to weightlifting?. Ask any informed and qualified gym instructor, or a certified coach, and their answers would vary to what you hear from people. Most of the guys who play football at high school, start lifting at your age. They all grow big and strong. Pro-wrestlers lift early as well. So no, weightlifting is not the culprit, doing it wrong with improper form is. Improper form affects your posture and leads to injuries. Keep it safe and do it right, you will be fine and above all, eat right and get good amount of rest.

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The "growth plate" is the area of active bone growth, and is more prone to injury than the more hardened areas of bone or the bones after that growth plate has closed. That's were any claim of stunted growth due to injury is going to come from.

To the degree that a growth plate injury could effect bone growth, sure, weight lifting could effect your growth. So could walking down the street, playing soccer, or any other activity where the injury occurs.

So the real question to evaluate is whether weight lifting carries an inordinately high risk of causing a growth plate injury vs other physical activities that are not deemed "unsafe."

It does not. Of course, this assumes that you follow the common sense practice of performing the exercises properly, in technique, amount of weight and spotters. That's true in general to avoid injuries, though, not exclusive to this type of injury.

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