Does barbell squats stunt growth? Do Barbell Squats Make You Shorter? The Truth Behind the Myth

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Written By Samarjit Sinha

Working out for 10 years | Has a home gym | CPD (UK) Certificate holder in Fitness

Does barbell squats stunt growth? Do Barbell Squats Make You Shorter? The Truth Behind the Myth

Does barbell squats stunt growth?

No, barbell squats do not stunt growth.

Despite the common myth, there is no scientific evidence that lifting heavy weights during squats can put pressure on children’s growth plates, and therefore does not cause stunted growth.

In fact, properly supervised and programmed strength training can be beneficial to children, and is much safer than many other sports and physical activities.

A number of studies have been conducted that suggest that strength training can even lead to an increase in height, as long as it is done correctly.

Squats with heavy weights should be done under the supervision of an experienced trainer and should begin with lighter weights and progress slowly to increase the risk of injury.

What Does The Science Say About Squats And Stunting Growth

The science behind squats and growth potential is very clear: Squats do not make you shorter or stunt your growth.

Studies have shown that squats can cause a temporary shrinkage of the spine by up to 3.59mm, but this is comparable to regular everyday activities such as walking and any height effect is restored to normal after a night’s sleep.

Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that performing squats with heavy weights will put pressure on children’s growth plates or damage them in any way.

Instead, if done with proper form and supervision, squats can be beneficial for a child’s growth, as it has a lower injury rate than many other physical activities.

Therefore, it seems that squats do not stunt or make you shorter, regardless of your age

Does barbell squats stunt growth? Do Barbell Squats Make You Shorter? The Truth Behind the Myth 2

Where Did The “Squats Make You Shorter” Myth Come From?

Is the myth true that lifting heavy weight make you shorter?

Several studies from the 1960s linked height and heavy labor, but many researchers believe this was a case of correlation, not causation.

Hafthor Bjornson

Finally, giants like Brian Shaw and Hafthor Bjornson disprove this myth, as they are almost seven feet tall and regularly lift heavy weights.

Overall, weightlifting and strength training exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses have no lasting negative effects on your height and can even protect you from age-related osteopenia (bone loss).

Is Spinal Compression from Squats Permanent?

No, barbell squatting is not a form of spinal compression that is permanent.

While spinal compression does occur when performing squats with weights, the degree of compression is linked to the amount of weight being used.

This effect is temporary, however, and your intervertebral disks will return to their original length shortly after you have completed your workout.

Furthermore, exercises that involve heavy lifting do not cause permanent changes in height, and any exercise that puts the lifter at risk of serious injury is not recommended.

What are the risks and side effects of doing barbell squats?

1. Damage to the joints

The risks and side effects of doing barbell squats include the potential for injury from an incorrect form or from using too much weight.

This could lead to strain or tears in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

There is a risk of falling due to fatigue or incorrect form, which can lead to fractures in the growth plate and other bones.

While these risks are real, the benefits of doing barbell squats far outweigh them.

And if you use a power rack then there is virtually no risk of injury at all.

Squats increase strength and stability, help build muscle, and improve overall fitness levels.

Regular physical activity, including barbell squats, can also help stimulate growth during the puberty growth spurt.

It is important to always use proper form when lifting weights and to never lift more than what your body can handle.

You can also look into hack squats instead of BB squats, maybe a machine will help you better to train your quads.

2. Pain

Barbell squats can be an effective exercise to gain muscle and strength, but they can also be associated with some discomfort or pain.

You can take some BCAA for the DOMS but if the pain is something that you can not bear at all then you need some professional help.

This is usually due to improper form, a muscle imbalance, or tightness in the lower body muscles.

Proper stretching and flexibility exercises can help to reduce any discomfort or pain, and it’s important to practice good form to avoid injury.

3. Muscle strain

The risk of muscle strain when doing barbell squats is similar to the risk of injury associated with any other form of physical exercise, including strength training and weightlifting.

However, most youth strength training-related injuries are accidental and likely preventable and are usually a result of dropped weights, pinched hands and feet, improper technique, and misuse of equipment.

Therefore, it is important for children to have proper supervision and technique when doing barbell squats in order to minimize the risk of muscle strain.

If you are worried that you are right or left-leg dominant and that might screw your aesthetic and strengths then you can try Bulgarian split squats instead of BB squats!

4. Risk of injury

The risk of injury with barbell squats is low if proper technique and supervision are followed.

77.2% of all strength training-related injuries among youth are accidental and can be prevented with supervision.

No Risk of injury

Without supervision, there is an increased risk of poor technique, attempting to lift too much weight, and horseplay in the weight room, which can lead to injuries.

5. Change in posture

The change in posture when doing barbell squats is significant.

When performing this type of exercise, the back muscles are strengthened, which supports the spine and helps to improve posture.

This improved posture makes the person look much taller, as the spine is straighter and more upright.

8. Increased Risk of Back Pain

Doing barbell squats increases the risk of back pain because the heavyweight and repetitive motion put a lot of strain on the spine which can lead to increased spine curvature and possible injuries.

If the squats are done without taking into consideration the balance of the whole body, it can lead to an uneven distribution of the loads and can put extra strain on the lower back, leading to pain.

The no-nonsense Benefits Of Squats


Develops Muscle Mass

Squats are an effective way to develop muscle mass(3).

It involves putting a great amount of stress on the lower extremities, which helps to strengthen the bones and increase muscle growth.

When performing squats, it is important to pay attention to proper form. This includes keeping a straight back and chest, a shoulder-width stance, and ensuring good breathing technique.

The warm-up should be performed to reduce the chance of injury.

Sustains Your Body Weight

Squats help to sustain body weight. This 2013 study shows that 8-week squat training helped with decreasing body fat by 4.2%.

Squats help to burn fat and calories as they increase the body’s metabolism through EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).

Benefits of Strength Training for Children

The benefits of strength training for children are numerous and include improved muscular fitness and motor skills, increased bone mineral density, improved mental health, improved body composition, increased levels of activity, and reduced risk of injury.

Strength training can help children build a strong foundation for a healthy lifestyle and is safe for children of all ages.

It can also help reduce sports-related injuries and create a positive experience and promote body positivity.

Strength training can also help to prevent long-term bone health issues and help overweight children improve their body composition.

The WHO recommends that children and adolescents participate in strength training at least three times per week.

Risks of Strength Training During Childhood

  1. Accidental injuries caused by dropped weights, pinched hands and feet, improper technique, and misuse of equipment.
  2. Functional disadvantages due to low levels of muscular strength.
  3. Long-term bone-health issues due to lack of weight-bearing exercise during the growing years.
  4. Reduced tolerance for aerobic training due to being overweight.
  5. Injury due to inadequate supervision and coaching.

How do Barbell Squats correctly?

Best Squat Rack India

Steps to do Barbell Squats correctly?

Step 1

Begin with a warm-up routine. This could include doing some light jogging, jumping jacks, or jumping rope.

Step 2

Place the barbell on your back, with the weight evenly distributed. Make sure it is not too heavy, as this could cause injury.

Step 3

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Step 4

Slowly lower your body down, keeping your chest up and back straight. Push your hips back and knees outward while doing this.

Step 5

Bend your knees until they’re at a 90 degree angle. Keep your head in line with your spine.

Step 6

Press down with your heels and push your body back up to the starting position.

Step 7

Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Step 8

Make sure to breathe properly during the exercise. Inhale as you lower your body down, and exhale as you push yourself back up.


Does strength training stunt growth?

No, strength training does not stunt growth.

Studies have shown that, when performed correctly and with proper supervision, strength training does not cause premature closure of the growth plates in adolescent bones, and does not lead to stunted growth(4).

In fact, it is much safer than many other sports and physical activities, and can even offer numerous health benefits for children and younger athletes.

Therefore, claims that lifting weights during childhood will stunt growth are simply myths and are not supported by scientific evidence.

Does deadlifting stunt growth?

No, deadlifting does not stunt growth.

Although some people may have heard rumors and myths that this could be the case, study results have not shown any connection between deadlifting and height.

The only way that it is possible for deadlifting to affect growth is through a severe injury, but this can be avoided with proper technique and safety precautions.

Instead, deadlifting can bring many benefits to adolescents, such as increased strength, improved posture, and better balance.

Does squatting increase growth hormone levels?

Yes, squatting does increase growth hormone levels.(5)

An increase in the production of growth hormones can be triggered by taking part in high-energy activities, such as squatting and deadlifting, especially if rest periods are kept to a minimum.

Research has proven this, as it found out that the increase of testosterone, cortisol, and human growth hormones was higher for the squats than for the leg press exercises. (6)

Does squatting increase bone density?

The answer is a definitive yes! Squatting can have a positive effect on your bone health.

Studies have shown that squatting can help increase your bone mineral density (or BMD) and strengthen your bones. (7)

As you squat, your lower extremities are put under stress and this encourages the bones to grow naturally.

In addition, squats can help improve your posture and increase your muscle mass.

Ultimately, regular strength training, such as squatting, can contribute to higher bone density. Not only does it help your bones grow healthier, but it also increases your muscle mass, endurance, and heart health.

So, if you want to keep your bones strong and healthy, squatting is definitely the way to go.

What is the safest way to squat?

The safest way to squat is by following the proper technique and form.

Start with a warmup to loosen up the muscles and enhance the range of motion.

Always be aware of your limits and never try to lift more than you can handle.

If you are a beginner, it is advisable to start with lighter weights and increase gradually. It is also essential to have a spotter or use a squat rack with guards to protect you in case of an emergency.

Finally, always remember to breathe during your lifts to prevent blacking out.
With these tips in mind, you can perform squats safely and effectively to reach your fitness goals.



Working Out for 10 years | Owns a home gym |Certificate course done on Improving Aerobic Fitness, Diet | CPD (UK) Accredited Certification on Fitness

🥊 About The Skinny Author

Yo Friends, this is Samarjit! A skinny guy who is building his tiny home gym.

I have successfully gained 10 kgs in 10 months going to commercial gyms. And I have been working out on and off for about 10+ years now.

I have gone swimming, done martial arts, Olympic lifts and body building type workouts!

I cancelled the gym subscription as I was more into making my home gym for workout. And getting ready, then getting my cycle and ride to the commercial gym seemed a drag after 10 hours in the office.

Thus, I needed a home that I can access at any moment!
And I started building my home gym!

I had to research a lot to build my home gym and decided to share effective, budget friendly home gym machines, nutrition to buy as per your goals here in

If you have question then contact here

Ps: Author is highly experienced with making small workout routines, understanding and guiding people to get gym equipment and set up home gym as per their Fitness goals.

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