Among others, one of the biggest myths is that you can remain undersized due to weight training, but this is only a myth when workouts are thought and built by competent coaches. (I mean the downturn in adolescence or childhood in very young athletes.)
I propose to take as an example a normal kid, 12 years old, without health problems, normally fed, average height and to adapt him to several sports. In this article, I’ll call him Paul.
Basketball makes you tall.
Normally, basketball is a sport involving very tall people where the length of arms and legs is a high point. It means that if Paul grabs the basketball, will he turn into a giant?
Horse races make you shorter.
If you look on the other side – the horseracing – jockeys are shorter and lighter. Does the fact that jockey rides all day long has to do with the development?
Maybe if Paul wants to be a jockey, will he become shorter?
Suppose Paul wants to take up sumo. With all other predominate features, will Paul fatten and look like a professional sumo boy only for attending sumo? No other external things?
Every sport has postural adaptations and is normal, but from here to say that it influences bone growth and the height of the individual is a long way. Numerous studies demonstrated that there is no clear relationship between physical activity and arresting the development of bones.
How it comes that with the sports above, athletes have specific characteristics? It’s simple. In any sport athletes are chosen based on their effectiveness; therefore basketball players are selected for their height, jockeys are short and light – opposing less resistance, and the massive sumo boys take advantage of their strength and mass. Everything is native.
Why the myth “weight training makes you short” still exists?
If we look at professionals in this field, weightlifting, bodybuilding, etc., most participants have a below average height; but why? The same explanation applies here.
First, the shorter you are, the weight you lift covers smaller distances.
Secondly, taking the example of people of 70 kg and 1.85m, 1.60m respectively, the tallest needs much more force and strength to conduct a full repetition and consumes more energy.
So in this case, short athletes are the most efficient because of the advantages they have. However, this does not mean that weight training is to blame for postural adaptations.
To develop physical qualities and posture, teenagers should train with weights under the supervision of competent coaches, without fearing that they will not grow enough.
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