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Crossfit Kids, good or bad for health & development?

by (915)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created January 03, 2014 at 11:45 AM

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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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I wasn't planning on entering my kids into the crossfit world.. Although i do like body weight exercise. They do basic push ups squats with me but i'm a little nervous getting them doing handstand push ups due to stress on their joints. I'm also a little nervous about them lifting weight above heads for the same reason. They do light kettlebell swings. I suppose i could have asked my question a little differently. I'm after a "don't do this because".... kind of answer...Do you have any sound reasoning for your comment? or do you just not like the idea of it like myself?

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Thanks for your input.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for your input.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for your input.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for your input.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for your input.

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26182 · January 03, 2014 at 7:58 PM

ok, so the point is that we give more opportunities to play at a high level? I don't buy it. Playing sports is a good thing. The problem is that I am seeing more kids become "specialized" at a young age. I had a 7 year-old girl leave my youth soccer team so that she could "focus" on softball.

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208 · January 03, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I didn't write that book. The question would be how many kids are in the elite programs, probably feeding the Olympic teams? Don't know, but it is probably very small compared to overall population.

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26182 · January 03, 2014 at 5:39 PM

I disagree with your last point. Internationally children are put into sport-specific programs at 12-14 years old. Then they focus on one sport. The children who do not make those teams focus on academics -- but that's because they didn't make the elite program.

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208 · January 03, 2014 at 5:37 PM

http://www.amandaripley.com/books/the-smartest-kids-in-the-world

She details how Americans are totally focused on athletics in school to the detriment of education. Other countries mostly do athletics away from school. Learning is key, not head butting.

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41471 · January 03, 2014 at 5:16 PM

We focus on it more than other countries? I don't know. Seems like every Euro-dude I've ever met plays soccer in a league of some sort, grown 20- or 30-somethings, then again, maybe that's normal and we chubby lazy Americans are the oddballs. Crossfit is fancy exercise, it's social exercise. But I agree with what @seesaw14 linked above: it's more exercise than it is training.

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6 Answers

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519 · January 04, 2014 at 5:35 AM

Don't let your kids do crossfit please

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I wasn't planning on entering my kids into the crossfit world.. Although i do like body weight exercise. They do basic push ups squats with me but i'm a little nervous getting them doing handstand push ups due to stress on their joints. I'm also a little nervous about them lifting weight above heads for the same reason. They do light kettlebell swings. I suppose i could have asked my question a little differently. I'm after a "don't do this because".... kind of answer...Do you have any sound reasoning for your comment? or do you just not like the idea of it like myself?

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1122 · January 03, 2014 at 8:50 PM

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.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Thanks for your input.

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26182 · January 03, 2014 at 5:37 PM

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.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for your input.

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208 · January 03, 2014 at 4:55 PM

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.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for your input.

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26182 · January 03, 2014 at 5:39 PM

I disagree with your last point. Internationally children are put into sport-specific programs at 12-14 years old. Then they focus on one sport. The children who do not make those teams focus on academics -- but that's because they didn't make the elite program.

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41471 · January 03, 2014 at 5:16 PM

We focus on it more than other countries? I don't know. Seems like every Euro-dude I've ever met plays soccer in a league of some sort, grown 20- or 30-somethings, then again, maybe that's normal and we chubby lazy Americans are the oddballs. Crossfit is fancy exercise, it's social exercise. But I agree with what @seesaw14 linked above: it's more exercise than it is training.

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41471 · January 03, 2014 at 3:00 PM

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.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for your input.

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50 · January 03, 2014 at 2:51 PM

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:

http://www.t-nation.com/training/crossfit-the-good-bad-and-the-ugly

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.

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915 · January 04, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Thanks for your input.

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