Truth Or Myth: Do Squats Make You Shorter?


Does weightlifting make a person short? Do squats make you shorter? Should you encourage children and young adults who are still growing to lift weight?

​Weightlifting is an extreme workout routine that gym instructors incorporate in physical education classes for kids and young adults. The reason for this is the strong perception that weightlifting, particularly squats, can destroy the growth plates in children’s bodies. Thus, this cause hinder to their growth.

​The fear has grown wider. Although there are no potential risks of stunting growth, it is still alarming for some people. But, is the idea true or false? Let’s find out.

The Effects Of Squats In Your Body

Doing squats has a great history of being known as unhealthy and unideal for children and young adults. In fact, some people believe that weight lifting, especially squatting is pointless for adolescents and kids. In a sense, they think that it will only make them lose their muscle mass.

​Moreover, other people believe that the effects of squats can stop the growth plates in a person’s body. Thus, when you enroll your kids in weightlifting classes, they will only cause the shrinking of their bones.

​Weightlifters who lift heavy barbells and dumbbells at the gym can become shorter. However, the effect is just temporary or in a short course. Plus, the deduction in their height can only be about an inch or less. However, for younger people, heavy weights cannot impede growth.

​The fact is you are still growing. If you are still growing faster and taller, you have not yet reached the physeal closure. The portion of the bones which grow called the physis may become somewhat moderately weak. Because of this, kids are more prone to injuries. The physis is prone to damages more quickly than the other bones in your body that have reached its growth limit.

​However, scientists agree that lifting weights does not decrease your vertical growth. However, they have noted that the destruction of your physis caused by too much weightlifting can result in injury. Also, it may lead to impaired growth of the bones.

​But still, medical literature does not directly imply whether performing squat is safe or not. Experts surveyed sports medicine to know whether they agree with the notion that you should avoid weight lifting and squatting in training programs. Based on the study conducted, respondents have answered that they did not notice any difference in their height while enrolled in strength-training programs. Thus, they have claimed that there is no need to fear weightlifting, particularly squatting.

Squatting Is Safe For Young People

Strength-resistance training, particularly squat, is safe for kids and adolescents who have not yet completed their growth limit. So, if you are 12-years old and you want to lift heavy loads, you can. However, you should need an instructor to guide you with the right posture, execution, and safety precautions when squatting.

​However, experts suggest that squats can still lead to spinal shrinkage. But, this is minimal. You may reduce your height to a few millimeters or less. Moreover, you can still decrease the possibility of shrinking your bones. You can do this by using weightlifting belts.

​But, you do not need to worry at all! Shrinkage in your spinal column can associate the build up of your strength. Bodybuilders with more height loss and experience more pain can increase their power more.

​In fact, one research study proved something about spinal reduction. The goal of the survey is to create a proof of the extent of the spinal shrinkage that occurs in weightlifters. The respondents used weightlifting belt with the procedure. The study has proven that the vertebrae compress minimally under a heavy weight. The subjects of the study performed a weight-bearing workout and squat during the experiment.

​Spinal loading during strength resistance training leads to a loss of the stature. Experts attribute this to a reduction in the height of the intervertebral discs. In short, this causes spinal shrinkage.

​In the study, the researchers have also found out that spinal shrinkage tends to be more prominent during morning exercises. They discovered that a lifter who lifts in the morning would experience severe reduction. However, in the study, it has mentioned that the loss of height has an inverse correlation to the weightlifter’s back strength.

Expert’s Reflection

Researchers debunked the idea that effect of strength training, especially squat, in inhibiting a young person’s growth as a myth. In fact, the study above showed the data about kids and weightlifting. They concluded that there is no particular risk to a child or adolescent’s health when lifting weights and squatting. In fact, there are countless benefits that they should consider.

Benefits Of Squats

Develops Muscle Mass

Squatting is a great way to enhance your muscle mass. In fact, it also builds up your muscular endurance and helps you make your bones stronger. When you do squats, you make your lower extremities more powerful. Plus, it improves your bone density. As you continuously put enough stress to your lower extremities, you are putting them to a position to grow naturally. Then, it results to muscle development.

Sustains Your Body Weight

While you accompany squats with other weight lifting exercises, it can also help you maintain your body weight. Strength training also helps you promote proper blood circulation all throughout your body. Thus, it lowers your cholesterol and keeps your blood pressure normal.

As you engage your muscles through weightlifting, you are not only helping your muscles to grow bigger, but you are also trying to burn fat. As you perform strength training like squats, you are burning calories by increasing your body’s metabolism.

​You can do this through EPOC or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. As you train your muscles, you increase EPOC for more than 38 hours even after weight lifting.

Consider The Alternatives

Even though researchers proved the notion is a myth, you may want to delay your kid’s introduction to strength training and squats. As suggested above, squatting may still cause an increased chance of getting bone injuries. But, fortunately, there are so many other practices your kids can do while getting the same strength benefits.

​For instance, they may try resistance tubing. It is a type of workout that utilizes resistance bands and other tiny exercise devices to strengthen your muscles and bones. You may also choose to execute some sit ups, push ups, leg squats, and crunches to develop your body.


Squatting may not cause any risk in stunting your kid’s growth. However, the higher levels of stress when strength training may cause the destruction of your child’s fragile body. Young people can even exacerbate this when they engage with squatting with improper posture and form. And although there are some advantages brought by squats, you still need to follow safety guidelines.


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