I started my fitness journey in the beginning of quarantine, and I’ve been doing bodyweight workouts ever since. I heard how beneficial strength training can be, and as a 14 year old, I want to try it out myself!
However, my parents are not so convinced by this idea, they think it might stunt my growth. I am not very tall to begin with, and I still have more time to grow, but I was wondering if using light dumbbells (1-3 kgs) and resistance bands could affect my height?
Wants To Try Strength Training
Hey Wants to Try!
It’s so cool that you’re interested in fitness at such a young age! Hopefully, exercise has been a good way to burn off some steam during such a tough year.
I loved your question because the Blogilates community has a lot of girls your age! I’m sure plenty of them have the same question – is strength training safe for younger girls?
FIRST! Before you do anything, I want you to talk to your doctor! He or she will be the best judge for what’s best for YOU.
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), resistance training actually has plenty of benefits for adolescents! But this is key – it has to be done appropriately. That means proper form and technique, a healthy plan for training, and using weights appropriate for you. In other words, it’s not a great idea to throw around the heaviest weights you can lift with no real plan. It’s also not a good idea to train too hard!
Another thing to consider is that bodyweight training already puts some resistance on your muscles. If you feel okay doing the workouts you’re already doing, then I would say light weight or resistance bands are probably fine.
Back to the guidelines from the AAP – to address your parents’ concern about stunting your growth, weight training won’t harm or slow how your body grows as long as you’re being safe. So again, I think light weights are perfectly fine!
So here are my tips before you get started:
- Talk to your doctor and don’t start until he or she gives you the green light
- Make sure you’re comfortable with bodyweight training before you add weights
- Stick with lighter weights for a while
- Give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover between workouts
- Fuel your body with healthy foods
I hope this helps! Oh, and the resource I linked is a great guideline if your parents want to learn more! Fitness is important for people of all ages. It’s just super important to make sure you go about it in the right way!
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!