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-   -   Overhead lifts cause stunted growth? (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=41284)

Jon Ogrodnick 01-08-2009 08:21 PM

Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
Hello, first off I'd like to thank everyone for being a part of a great community and contributing to this great resource. I've spent tons of hours simply reading what people have to say and it's been great.

Now onto my question:

I've been crossfitting quite regularly since early november and while I'm at school I try to get some of my friends to work out with me. Well my one friend refuses to do lifts or workouts that involve weight being above his head, or even above his midsection (overhead squat, back squat, front squat, push press, shoulder press, push jerk, etc.). My friend is 17 years old and is worried about stunting any possibility for future growth. Is this something to worry about? I'm asking because these lifts occur regularly on the main page WODs and I want to get him to do as many of them as possible.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Frank E Morel 01-08-2009 09:54 PM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
this what you should do....


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
:rofl:

At 17.... the only thing that overhead lifting is going to do for certain is.....

ACTUALLY MAKE HIM GROW! HOW????? hormones!!!!

And if still doesnt believe you ? thEn take he whimpy butt down to the old folks home and ask anyone over the age of 70 about how strong and big were these honest to goodness strong men of the blacksmithing, bricklaying, lumber jacking, ditch digging, railway section crew type of men were. And as sure as the sun rises in the east in morning, ALL OF THEM HAVE DONE THEIR WORK ABOVE THE LEVEL OF THEIR BELLY BUTTONS.

IF he still doesn't want to do it. Then call him a whussy. ( that is the offspring of when you mate a whimp and a p#$%y) and then go find your friend a set of brass balls ... he is going to need them to get thru life.

Veronica Carpenter 01-08-2009 10:26 PM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
it's an urban legend.

The only thing anyone can do physically to stunt their growth is to damage their growth plates while they are still developing. Lifting something over your head won't damage the growth plates. A traumatic injury could - ie breaking a bone at the growth plate.

Some people and those people's parents are still living in the dark ages.

Sara Fleming 01-09-2009 03:21 AM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
Here is a summary of the official policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (That is the official American medical community for treating children). I wrote this and posted it on our affiliate blog. You can read it or listen to what I will tell you here. The American Academy of Pediatrics have deemed weighlifting to be safe and beneficial for kids provided it is done properly and in a supervised setting.

http://crossfit-swat.com/blog/?p=66 (wfs)


New guidelines for Strength Training of Children and Adolescents from the American Academy of Pediatrics

A summary of the recently revised policy statement, April 2008

Sara Fleming

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently revised its policy
regarding the safety and efficacy of strength training for children and
adolescents involved in sports and for general health improvement. It has been shown that, similar to adults, strength training in children has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular fitness, body composition, bone mineral density, blood lipid profiles, and mental health. Strength training not only gives an advantage to the young athlete, but has shown to be an effective form of exercise for overweight children and can increase overall function in children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

In past years, a great deal of concern was expressed over the potential
for injuries in children resulting from strength training. However, the majority of these injuries were the result of improperly supervised exercises carried out in home gyms. Growth plate injuries were extremely rare and were, again, usually the result of a combination of improper technique and inadequate supervision. In fact, the injury rates among children strength training under proper supervision is far less than those that occur during recess play at school or participating in organized team sports. Appropriately supervised
strength training programs seem to have no detrimental effect on linear growth, growth plates, or the cardiovascular system. However, children with pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiomyopathy, Marfan syndrome, and seizure disorders should consult with their physician before
beginning any program.

In addition to those listed above, the benefits of strength training
programs for children and adolescents include possible prehabilitative benefits. Prehabilitation refers to the strengthening of common problem areas that are more subject to overuse injuries such as the shoulder and the knee. Studies performed on the use of strength-training programs combined with plyometric exercises have shown to drastically reduce the number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female adolescent athletes. Female adolescents who
engage in sports are four to six times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than their male counterparts.

Once children attain postural maturity, which occurs by ages seven or
eight, they can participate in a strength-training program with physician approval. Since most weight machines are made for adults and are therefore sized for larger physiques, these are not appropriate for children. Therefore, free weight and bodyweight exercises are optimal as they also develop balance, coordination, and allow joints to achieve a full range of motion.

Appropriate strength training programs for children should include
functional movements that strengthen all of the muscles through a full range of motion. Of particular importance are the core and trunk muscles including the abdominals, low back, and gluteal muscles. Technique should be prioritized over increases in resistance and the program should include 2-3 sessions per week that are at least 20-30 minutes in duration. Strength training sessions should include appropriate warm up and cool down periods and should be supervised by a qualified fitness professional.

Although explosive or rapid lifting of weights is not recommended, the AAP reserves its judgement on the teaching of the explosive movements of the Olympic weightlifting techniques such as the clean and jerk and the snatch to children and adolescents. These exercises are distinct from common weightlifting, as participation in these lifts requires rigorous instruction of technique and strict supervision. The limited studies of children participating in the sport of Olympic weightlifting have reported relatively few injuries provided they are taught by a qualified trainer or coach. The AAP is, however, actively opposed
to childhood involvement in power lifting, body building, or use of 1-repetition maximum lifts until skeletal maturity.

In conclusion, the AAP recommends strength training for children and
adolescents for both sport specific and general health advantages. To prevent injuries, children need medical clearance from their doctors and training programs should be developed and closely supervised by qualified individuals experienced in pediatric strength training.

For free full text article:
http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/121/4/835

References:

American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness.
Strength training by children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2008;121 (4):835840

Blundell SW, Shepherd RB, Dean CM, Adams RD, Cahill BM. Functional
strength class for children aged 48 years. Clin Rehabil. 2003;17 (1):48 57

Hewett TE, Meyer GD, Ford KR. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries in
female athletes: part 2a meta-analysis of neuromuscular interventions aimed at injury prevention. Am J Sports Med. 2006;34 (3):490 498

Recommended Reading:

Sullivan JA, Anderson SJ, eds. Care of the Young Athlete.

Kraemer WJ, Fleck SJ, Strength Training for Young Athletes, 2nd edition

Peter Terry Haas 01-09-2009 06:31 AM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
Sara, thanks for that great post and summary.

Sara Fleming 01-09-2009 11:17 AM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
you are welcome.:)

Jon Ogrodnick 01-09-2009 12:00 PM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
Thanks a lot for all the information. Hopefully this will change his mind and he'll start coming to the gym on strength days.

Frank E Morel 01-09-2009 12:03 PM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Ogrodnick (Post 489050)
Thanks a lot for all the information. Hopefully this will change his mind and he'll start coming to the gym on strength days.

jon... I suspect that he is not interested in lifting.

Leah Turner 01-09-2009 03:27 PM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sara Fleming (Post 488748)
The AAP is, however, actively opposed
to childhood involvement in power lifting, body building, or use of 1-repetition maximum lifts until skeletal maturity.
[/color]

Do they ever mention when they consider skeletal maturity to be? I would imagine this differs a bit person to person.

Is everyone else in agreement w/ this stmt?

Sara Fleming 01-09-2009 03:35 PM

Re: Overhead lifts cause stunted growth?
 
In al lot of the texts I've read, skeletal maturity was described as coinciding with the development of secondary sexual characteristics. So, if the boys are shaving and the girls are menstruating, you're good to go.

Personally, I wouldn't advocate body-building until after the age of 18, if ever. But, power lifting and 1RM, I think would be safe with good coaching and supervision with the above description of skeletal maturity. Obviously, the AAP realize that the strictly supervised O-lifting sports are pretty safe and reserve judgement and that's pretty much as powerful as lifting gets.


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