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Adolescents and pre-adolescents may start thinking about taking up weight training. You may have heard rumors that weight training can stunt growth.
The concern is that weight training can injure the areas of the bone that grow (the growth plates) and limit stature. There is no evidence that high-impact sports like gymnastics, soccer, football, and basketball harm growth plates. The same is true for weight training.
There is a risk of injury from lifting more weight than one can control. In other words, the weights and machines can cause direct blunt trauma. But in general, the health benefits of lifting weights outweigh the risks. Weight training can improve strength, confidence, coordination, psychological well-being, and healthy weight. Weight training strengthens bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, thereby decreasing the risk of injury to these structures.
The key is understanding how to safely lift heavy weights and the potential dangers of a weight room.