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Will Lifting Weights Harm My Bones?

I know lifting weights boosts metabolism, but since my body is still developing, will it prevent my bones from fully growing?
- Hamid*

Many misconceptions surround strength training. Done properly, strength training is an important component of any exercise program at any age, along with cardio and flexibility exercises. Before beginning a formal strength-training regimen, consult your doctor to get the go-ahead.

Kids and teens who are still growing should avoid heavy weights and power-lifting, and should be supervised, especially when starting out. In a supervised program, the trainer will teach proper technique and safety, and will know when you're ready to progress to a heavier weight.

But you don't have to pump weights at the gym to benefit from strength training. You can use light hand weights, exercise bands, or even your own body weight to strengthen and tone muscles. Also, warm up before and cool down after every workout to avoid injury.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: May 2013
Originally reviewed by: Kathleen B. O'Brien, MD

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.