I am a teenager. How should I approach weightlifting safely?
I do not want to stunt my growth or bring about any other issues.
Weightlifting is not only safe for teens but it is encouraged as it can ensure a healthy and proper body composition. A teen’s muscular strength, endurance, stability, and bone strength also increase as a result of weightlifting.
With that said, it is not recommended for young teens to jump right into lifting weights. This may result in a shock to the individual’s physiological system with over-training symptoms being common.
Teens should start out with body-weight exercises as this will allow the body to adjust and prepare to handle heavier loads. Many issues begin with improper form and poor posture. Teens who master classic body-weight exercises such as the push-up, pull-up, squat, and lunge can transition into weightlifting with a strong foundation to support dumbbell and barbell based exercises.
There are many resources that a teen can access in order to perfect the proper form of all exercises mentioned above. Workout Labs offers a step-by-step breakdown of every exercise, along with illustrations. It’s also recommended that teens reach out to a trained professional such as a coach, personal trainer, or upper-classman that has experience.
It’s important for teens to remember that if an exercise doesn't feel right or it hurts, they must stop immediately. This is a tell-tale sign that improper technique is being used and could result in injury.