What Age Can You Start Powerlifting
Adolescence is a time of great changes, that is why, today, we find many teen powerlifters who want to get fit at an early age, maybe by trend or maybe because they have chosen it as a good sport for them. If you were wondering “Is powerlifting a sport”, the answer is yes. This discipline exists in both the male and the female world with the aim of lifting more and more weight.
The problem is that many teenagers who start with these workouts may not have reached the maturity of their skeleton yet.
To know if someone is ready to carry out this activity, we have to know if their skeleton is still of a child or is already of an adult. That skeletal maturity or immaturity can be determined by x-rays (hand and pelvis) to know if the growth cartilages have closed, at which time the boy finishes growing. In average, for girls, it is the age of around 13 -15 years old and for boys the age should be 15-17 years old.
For children who have not yet reached skeletal maturity, powerlifting in any of its modalities can produce a very fast increase in the strength of tendons, muscles, and ligaments, which can exceed the strength of their insertion points in immature bones generating overweight and as a consequence, inflammation in those areas and in rare cases, growth cartilage lesions (due to their sliding).
What Are the Potential Risks of Powerlifting?
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Besides, the risk of poor academic achievements, there is a high chance of getting injuries caused by poor weight control (sprains, dislocations, fractures, muscle injuries, etc.). There are a lot of other skeletal-muscle problems generated by chronic weightlifting and the earlier you start, the greater the risk. The most frequent are:
- Spinal injuries, such as stress fractures in the vertebrae with subsequent sliding between them.
- Stress fractures in other bones (eg, ulna, sternum and humerus).
- Shoulder instability.
- Wear of the clavicle joint with the shoulder blade.
- Kneecap wear.
- Wear of virtually any joint.
What Are the Benefits of Powerlifting?
On the other hand, weight training that is slow, progressive, controlled and well-supervised can bring you many benefits:
- Increase strength and endurance.
- Protect your joints from injury when playing sports.
- Improve sports performance in any discipline.
- Strengthen your bones.
- Reduce hypertension in the future.
- Help you to stay at an ideal weight.
- Increase your confidence and self-esteem.
- Create the habit of keeping in shape.
Recommendations For Not Hurting Yourself If You Lift Weights
First, do not start until you have an assessment of the age of your bones and a general orthopedic evaluation, so that you do not get hurt.
If you still do not reach skeletal maturity:
- Ideally, do exercises in which you only use your body as a weight (push-ups, bottoms, bars, abs, squats, etc) since it is one of the best alternatives to strengthen all muscle groups.
- Lift light weights (be able to do no less than 15-20 repetitions) for each muscle group. Only 2 sets of each exercise and only 6-10 exercises in 1 day. Maximum 3 days a week of exercise to avoid problems.
- Do not load bars on the shoulders. The stress they generate in your spine and knees is too great and increases the risk of injuries.
- As resistance alternatives, you have elastic bands, medicine balls and pulleys.
- Always take care of the technique. Never do it if you are alone. Do not lift weights that you cannot control. Always have someone to supervise you.
- Warm-up (Muscle activation before starting: eg jogging, jumping, etc.).
- Cool: Stretches are most effective when your muscles are already hot.
Weightlifting (Bodybuilding, Powerlifting or Weightlifting) is not recommended until there is skeletal maturity. Weight training can be beneficial at any age, even for children as long as they are SUPERVISED and joints are not overloaded.