Does recreational gymnastics stunt growth?

No kind of gymnastics stunts growth, be it practiced recreationally or competitively.

Competitive female artistic gymnasts may suffer a temporary slowdown of their growth during the stage of life when they undergo high intensity training but their growth will resume after the end of their competitive career. That's a relatively small effect though.

What you see when you watch at small stature competitive female artistic gymnasts is people with a natural small stature. They are small girls. Maybe they would be few cm taller if they didn't practice artistic gymnastics at that level but you won't see 1.80m amazons transformed into 1.50 miniatures by artistic gymnastics.

Artistic gymnastics coaches are known to select girls for their competitive teams based on the height of both their parents and the shape of the body of their mothers. They are selected from the beginning to be small. The reason is explained in Maurizio Mastroianni's answer to Why are female olympic artistic gymnasts so diminutive?

Other kinds of gymnastics allow for gymnasts with different kind of bodies. Rhythmic gymnasts are taller than artistic gymnasts, on average. Acrobatic gymnasts are usually taller than artistic gymnasts except for the one that get launched in the airs and catched who is usually selected to be smaller for obvious reasons. Here I wrote about tall olympic medalled gymnasts: Maurizio Mastroianni's answer to Who are the tallest gymnasts (male and female) to win a medal at the Olympics?

Thanks for the A2A.

If you didn't know that there are different kind of gymnasts you may want to read: Maurizio Mastroianni's answer to How do artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics differ? and Maurizio Mastroianni's answer to What are the different types of gymnastics? How are they different? Which is considered the best?


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