does Gymnastics stunt your growth?

If you Google, you’ll find any number of sources saying that intensive training in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics stunts and / or alters growth and development.

FIG called a colloquium of experts February 2011 to discuss the issue.

Results were published June 2013.

Sports Medicine – Role of Intensive Training in the Growth and Maturation of Artistic Gymnasts:

1. Adult height or near adult height of female and male artistic gymnasts is not compromised by intensive gymnastics training.

2. Gymnastics training does not appear to attenuate growth of upper (sitting height) or lower (legs) body segment lengths.

3. Gymnastics training does not appear to attenuate pubertal growth and maturation, neither rate of growth nor the timing and tempo of the growth spurt.

4. Available data are inadequate to address the issue of intensive gymnastics training and alterations within the endocrine system.

You can read the entire paper here. (PDF)

The long and the short of it …

Roy Hibbert and McKayla Maroney

Roy Hibbert and McKayla Maroney

Gymnastics does not make you short. Basketball does not make you tall.

8 comments ↓

#1 clinton on 09.12.13 at 5:50 am

some people are so stupid

#2 An Ex Gymnast on 09.12.13 at 6:10 am

It would be interesting to see if there are other things gymnastics does alter… For example, when I was training 25 hours a week, I had extremely flat feet, and I wasn’t the only girl at my gym with arch supports in her running shoes. Then when I retired, I noticed that within a year, I had “normal” arches.

Could this have to do with my gymnastics training? Or does this happen to every 17 year old girl?

#3 coach Rick on 09.12.13 at 6:33 am

I’ve known many female gymnasts to have flat feet. Not sure there is any research on that, however.

Your bones are very dense, of course. :-)

http://usagym.org/pages/usagymclub/articles/girlsbones.html

#4 Ricky on 09.12.13 at 2:47 pm

The link to the PDF document doesn’t work for me.

#5 coach Rick on 09.12.13 at 10:07 pm

The link looks good.

Perhaps try from another internet network.

#6 AnnaKatherine on 09.13.13 at 1:32 am

I find it funny how people forget that we purposefully target kids that are small in size and stature, and are aware to study and filter their parents morphology (? is that the word?), especially for “talent ID” streams and purposes.

#7 Ricky on 09.13.13 at 12:19 pm

Thanks Rick, it was good at work (other network, other computer). ;)

#8 Gymnast in Training on 11.27.13 at 1:37 pm

I’m a gymnast myself and all my friends were saying gymnastics stunts your growth. A lot of their parents don’t allow them to do gymnastics because they believe this. I was starting to feel uncomfortable so I researched it. I’m so glad it doesn’t stunt your growth.

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