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?
To kickstart your weightlifting journey, devote some time to a thorough warm-up. Begin with a few minutes of light cardiovascular exercises or dynamic stretching routines. This step is vital to get your blood flowing and your muscles limbered up, reducing the likelihood of strains and sprains during your workout.
Optimal Weight Selection
Choosing the right weight is a pivotal aspect of your weightlifting experience. Aim for a weight that challenges you while still maintaining manageable control. If you're a beginner, it's advisable to start with lighter weights and progressively increase the load as you gain confidence and strength. Generally, aim to complete a set of 8-12 repetitions before experiencing significant fatigue.
Mastering Proper Form
Mastering the correct form for each exercise is fundamental for both safety and effectiveness. Take the time to thoroughly understand and practice the proper technique for each lift. Begin with lighter weights to hone your form, ensuring your spine remains neutral, and engage your core muscles to safeguard your back from potential harm.
The Art of Breathing
Proper breathing techniques are paramount when it comes to lifting weights. Inhale deeply before initiating any exercise and exhale as you lift or push the weight. Avoid the common mistake of holding your breath, as it can lead to a dangerous spike in blood pressure. Instead, focus on synchronized, controlled breathing throughout your workout.
Adequate Rest Between Sets
Resting between sets is vital for muscle recovery and enhancing your overall strength gains. The duration of your rest period will depend on your fitness level and the intensity of your workout. Typically, a rest interval of 30-90 seconds between sets strikes a good balance. It allows your muscles to recuperate while maintaining the momentum of your session.
Post-workout, it's essential to incorporate a proper cool-down routine to mitigate the risk of injury and alleviate muscle soreness. Concentrate on stretching the specific muscle groups you targeted during your session. Pay extra attention to any areas that feel tight or sore, ensuring that your muscles recover and remain supple.
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.
In the ultimate analysis, it's crucial to understand that weightlifting alone cannot alter your stature or elevate your height after your growth plates have permanently fused. However, the practice of weightlifting holds immense benefits for your overall well-being and physical fitness, provided you adhere to the necessary precautions and execute proper techniques.
Before embarking on your weightlifting journey, remember the cardinal rule of warming up adequately to prepare your body for the exertion ahead. Ensure that your form is impeccable throughout your lifting routine, as this not only maximizes gains but also mitigates the risk of injury.
Furthermore, gradual progression is key in the world of weightlifting. Gradually increase the weight you lift as your strength improves, allowing your body to adapt progressively to the added load. Always stay attuned to your body's signals during your workout; if you encounter any pain or discomfort, do not push through it. Instead, immediately cease your exercise and, if necessary, consult a medical professional for guidance and assistance.
In conclusion, while weightlifting may not be a miraculous solution for altering one's height, it undeniably offers a multitude of advantages for your overall health and fitness. By following these guidelines and listening to your body, you can ensure a safe and effective weightlifting journey that contributes positively to your well-being.