What are the Effects of Squats in Both the Young and the Old?
In the past, squats and weight lifting have been dubbed as unhealthy and not suitable for young adults and children. In fact, some people believe that these are pointless exercises for both children and adolescents.
Also, many people think that squats can disrupt and damage the growth plates in the body, resulting in stunted growth and a shorter height.
According to research, children are still growing and have not reached the physeal closure. The epiphyseal plate or growth plate is a hyaline cartilage plate found at the end of a long bone. This part is where new bones grow as children increase their height.
This section of the bone can become weak with weight lifting and squats, making the child more prone to injuries.
While experts agree that squats do not necessarily decrease vertical growth when performed correctly, they have noted that too much squatting can increase the risk of bone injury and impaired bone growth.
What are the Benefits of Squats?
1. Develops Muscle Mass
Squatting can enhance muscle mass. Also, this can help build up your muscular endurance and makes your bones stronger.
When you do squats, you are making your lower extremities stronger, as your muscles develop and the density of your bones improve.
2. Helps Sustains and Maintains Body Weight
When you do squats along with other weightlifting exercises, you will be able to support and maintain your desired body weight.
Squats and weightlifting do not only help your muscles grow bigger but also help you burn fat. Likewise, you are increasing your body’s metabolic function.
Since these exercises are considered strength training, you are promoting proper blood circulation throughout your body. Also, this will help lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
3. Improves the Structure of the Bones
Squats do improve your bone structure, as it places stress on the joints. The stress is compressive in nature and is well tolerated by your skeleton.
The slight risk of injury on the growth plates that interferes with bone growth rarely occurs even when you are under extreme loads.
4. Helps Develop Bone Mineral Density
Squats along with weight lifting can improve not only your muscles and your strength but also your bone mineral density.
If you do not train to the point of injury, your skeleton will become stronger following resistance training.
With the increase in bone mineral density, your growth is not disrupted. Instead, it reduces the risk of injury and osteoporosis.
5. Release Testosterone
Squats and weightlifting are specifically advantageous for weight training for men, as it helps release testosterone.
This male hormone will help improve your muscles and get you all beefed up.
6. Improves Athletic Ability
Since squats improve your muscle growth, it can ultimately improve your athletic ability. With stable muscles and knees, injuries can be avoided when you are doing sports.
Yes, Squats Are Safe for Young People!
Squats along with other strength resistance training are safe for children and adolescents who have not reached their growth limit.
However, it is always important to consider training with a professional instructor to guide you with the safety precautions and the right posture and execution when performing squats.
How To Do Squats Properly
Align your feet distance with the width of your shoulders
Slowly bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, adjust hips and ankles
Breathe out as you return to starting position
Repeat 19 times more.
Remember: Only do this exercise three times a week
Considering the Alternative Exercise Routines
Even though it has been proven that squats do not make your shorter or disrupt growth, parents should always take precaution and allow their children to perform the exercise with guidance from a professional trainer.
A professional trainer will be able to guide your child and teach him or her how to perform squats correctly.
It is important to note that squats may still increase the risk of getting bone injuries. But, the good thing is that there are other activities and exercises that children can perform while getting the same benefits.
Other alternatives to squatting and weight lifting include crunches, resistance tubing, pushups, and sit-ups.
The Bottom line
While it may be rare for squatting to cause disruption in growth, there is still a risk of bone injuries for children. However, for adults, squatting and weightlifting is perfectly safe and will not cause any noticeable change in a person’s height.
When doing the exercises, it is important always to follow the safety guidelines and perform with guidance from a professional trainer. This way, you know that you are executing the exercises correctly.
I am Jessica, co-founder of CareHappiness.com. We work to inspire, educate and empower our readers with all the latest updates and authentic information. Our goal is to bring up the “Healthy attitude” among people in the world. On CareHappiness.com you will find high-quality health information, fitness tips, diet charts and answer to all your health queries.