Does Deadlifting Stunt Growth?

Deadlifting is a popular exercise technique that involves lifting heavy weights off the ground, primarily targeting the muscles in your lower body. However, concerns have been raised about whether deadlifting can potentially stunt growth, especially among young individuals who are still maturing physically. In this blog post, we will delve into this topic and uncover the truth behind these claims.

The Mechanics of Deadlifting

To better understand whether deadlifting can affect growth, it’s important to first grasp the mechanics of this exercise. When performing a deadlift correctly, you engage various muscle groups including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, back muscles (erector spinae), as well as your core for stability and balance. By loading these muscles with weight during a controlled lift from the floor to an upright position while maintaining proper form and technique, you can experience significant strength gains over time.

The Myth Surrounding Stunted Growth

One common myth suggests that when adolescents or teenagers engage in heavy resistance training exercises like deadlifts before their bodies have fully matured through puberty, they might risk stunting their growth potential. The theory goes that excessive stress placed on growing bones could lead to premature closure of bone growth plates called epiphyseal plates.

Evaluating Scientific Evidence

Luckily for fitness enthusiasts who enjoy incorporating deadlifts into their workout routines at any age or stage of development, scientific evidence contradicts this myth. Several studies examining the effects of resistance training on skeletal growth have shown no negative impact on height potential or bone development.

Growth Plate Closure Explained

Growth plates are areas located near the ends of long bones where bone growth occurs and contributes to an individual’s height. During puberty, these growth plates gradually close, signaling the end of vertical bone growth. However, research has indicated that heavy resistance training exercises like deadlifting do not accelerate the closure of growth plates or interfere with normal skeletal development.

Positive Effects on Bone Density

In fact, engaging in strength-training exercises such as deadlifting can have a positive effect on bone density in both young individuals and adults. By subjecting bones to controlled stress during weight-bearing activities like deadlifts, you stimulate osteoblasts (bone-building cells) to increase bone mineral density over time. This can contribute to stronger bones that are less prone to fractures or other types of injuries.

Considerations for Young Lifters

While the myth surrounding stunted growth due to deadlifting is unfounded, there are still some considerations for young lifters who wish to incorporate this exercise into their fitness routine:

Safety First: Proper Technique and Supervision

It is crucial for young lifters – as well as individuals at any age – to learn proper form and technique when performing deadlifts or any other resistance training exercise. Seek guidance from a qualified trainer or coach who can ensure that movements are executed correctly and safely while minimizing the risk of injury.

Moderation is Key

Youth athletes should also avoid excessive weight lifting volumes that could potentially result in overtraining or burnout. Gradually progress by increasing weights sensibly and allowing adequate rest periods between workouts for muscles to recover fully.

Variety in Training

Aim for a well-rounded approach by including various forms of exercise beyond just heavy resistance training alone. Incorporating cardiovascular exercises, flexibility routines (like yoga), and functional movements will help develop a balanced physique and overall fitness.


To put it simply, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that deadlifting stunts growth. Engaging in this exercise, when done with proper form and technique, can actually have several benefits for both young individuals and adults alike. Remember to prioritize safety, moderation, and variety in your training routine to optimize results while minimizing risks. So go ahead and embrace deadlifting as an effective way to build strength without any concerns about impairing your growth potential!