Hi guys, has any of you any expert opinion or just good knowledge on this matter please. I'm all for kids exercising & think it's more important than ever these days with our sedentary lifestyles. I'm not a crossfitter myself & although it looks great i can't help thinking it may be a bit much for developing bodies, such as risk of growth plate injuries when locking out on handstand push ups etc... I could be completely wrong & that's the reason i'm asking here, so please no ..."bad compared to what, kids playing on computer games? then no".. type answers.... Thanks in advance.
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Don't let your kids do crossfit please
Bodyweight exercise and flexibility should be key for the <14-15. Non-competitive sports are best IMHO. We have enough meatheads in the world.
It seems like every other PH question is loaded with statements like "I crossfit 5 days a week, bike to work....and I'm feeling so drained". Easy does it.
The key to athletic performance is stability and hip flexibility. Children (up to about 16) need to focus primarily on movements and body weight exercises. About the best "exercise" you can do with your child is to go to a playground and play hot lava. Running, Jumping, balancing, monkey bars, etc. Kids love it, and it promotes excellent physical fitness.
As far as crossfit is concerned. (1) I think it is a decent option for someone who is competitive, but doesn't have something to compete in. The best part of crossift is the community and friendly competitions. (2) Crossfit is a niche sport that trains people to excel in that activity. It does not promote health any more than any other sport does. Running will make you an efficient runner. Crossfit will make you an efficient Crossfit'er. Thus, to me, making a child a niche athlete (regardless of the sport) is not beneficial.
I used to elite high school runners. I would often have "Crossfit-Style" WODs that the would do twice a week in the off season and once a week in the beginning of the season. The reason I would do this is that I feel that the best runners are the best athletes. And my run- and strength- training was designed to make them efficient runners, so mixing it up with some serious MET workouts would help them be better rounded athletes.
It's just another form of marketing things to people. What ever happened to just going out and playing some basketball, baseball, etc. with friends and neighbors? Why must everything be a paid for organized event that parents now have to get involved and drive kids to? And kids are ripe for indoctrination into "Crossfit" so they can be lifelong slaves to overtraining and injury.
Paying to exercise or do sports is a newer phenomena that I can't wrap my brain around. Compare athletics in the USA to the rest of the world and the other countries teachers/students/parents are amazed at how focused we are on sports instead of education. That is a bad thing for our future, unless we can all be superstar athletes.
Overtraining is an issue no matter what age. Crossfit folks tend to go overboard (e.g. 10 WODs a week, let's up that to 20!), you shouldn't be working out more than a few times a week, no matter what. Kids included. General activity is superior to concerted exercise.
I'm a crossfit fan myself, but here's a really good article regarding why you shouldn't just get involved thoughtlessly for extended periods of time:
Long story short, he basically says Crossfit should be combined with strength training to prevent injury and aid in progress.
I don't have kids and I"m years away from being a parent, but in my opinon team sports sounds like it would be much better for social development and building confidence and ambition.