Our expert says:
It can be a problem for young children to lift because they often do so with poor technique and lift heavier weights than their skeletons are capable of. Both of these factors combined leads to increased injury risk. That's the main concern. There is this theory of stunted growth, but I'm not sure that's a concern unless the child is training incredibly hard - think of gymnasts in the Communist countries for an idea of what incredibly hard means.
So given that the danger is technique and heavy weights, the answer is that a teenager can lift, but they must go lighter, and they must focus on technique and getting it right. Then it can actually be helpful. I'd question the motivation for wanting to lift heavy weights to begin with - you're growing anyway, and so any work you do will have an effect. So rather take things a little slower and let progress happen more gradually.
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