Is CrossFit For Kids A Good Idea?

CrossFit gyms seem to pop up on a new corner every other week.? With adults flocking to classes in droves, it follows logic that they would want to cash in on the kids of those flocks. What’s good for the goose is good for the goosling, right? But are these high intensity workouts appropriate for toddlers (classes are offered for children as young as three years old) and young kids? Some parents have been quoted as saying they see it as a form of child abuse, while others parents think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. According to the Department of Health guidelines, writes Peta Bee in Daily Mail:

?All five to 18-year-olds should do a minimum of an hour of moderate intensity activity (that leaves them out of breath but not exhausted) a day.”

However, CrossFit has become synonymous for grueling workouts and injury.? Along with extreme muscle soreness, lower back, and knee injuries, a once unheard of condition called rhabdomyolysis (literally the explosion of cells) has become the topic du jour.??Jonathan Benson from Natural News writes:

??despite the hilarity of its unofficial CrossFit cartoon mascot, ‘Uncle Rhabdo’, is no laughing matter, as it can lead to serious kidney damage and even death. And an increasing number of CrossFitters are apparently coming down with it as a result of too much exercise??.

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It is important to note here that the kids CrossFit classes are quite different from their adult counter-parts.? They are shorter, only forty minutes long, and much less intense. Shilo Nelson, Department Chair and professor of Kinesiology says that while factors such as age, gender and fitness level should be considered:

?In the children’s CrossFit program, the kids practice movement rehearsal of the motor skills necessary for the activity circuit as a warm-up.? This is practical and safe.? The circuits are short?.which is enough to maintain the children’s interest but not so over-whelming that the program could create overuse injuries or excessive soreness.?

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So why not just let your kids play on the playground? ?Fitness expert Chad Skrederstu, professor of Kinesiology and owner/operator of 168 Approach Fitness says:

“Children should associate movement with fun. At that age children need to be hopping, skipping, jumping, galloping and running to develop [healthy] movement patterns.?

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CrossFit Kids and playground activities both include all of these movements, but the one thing CrossFit has over the playground is, kids of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds are encouraged to work and play together.? No one is excluded or bullied. When asked what he thought was the number one thing kids learned in his classes, Dan Wells, owner/trainer of CrossFit Horsepower in Studio City, CA says:

?Coordination, balance and ability to control the body.? The CrossFit Kids program develops body control early in life, thereby preparing kids for the challenges they will face in sport, play and (eventually) work. This, in turn, impacts self-confidence which permeates all aspects throughout the rest of life?.

Edited/Published by: SB ? ?

Moon is a nationally certified health and fitness therapy expert with more than 20 years of experience and education in therapeutic body work, corrective exercise, yoga, Pilates, ballet, strength training and conditioning, and nutrition. She has completed several marathons and half-marathons without dropping dead. She’s worked closely with many amazing coaches, chiropractors and physical therapists; including 6 years working in a private physical therapy practice and 20 years’ experience teaching group exercise and personal training. It’s her personal mission to give people the tools they need to feel and perform their best, create a pain-free body and live an awesome life. For more information go to: