Crossfit for kids
Crossfit for kids
Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP, CGFI
The New York Times came out with an article today about Crossfit for kids. I’ve written about Crossfit before, and the importance of exercise with kids. Now, Crossfit for kids is gaining popularity. Started back in 2001, the program takes young children (as young as 3 years old) through short bouts of movement and exercise with the emphasis being on fun.
Crossfit has had its detractors, saying that the workout routine is much too intense and rife with injury. For children, there are no weights and no emphasis on overall strength training, but more functional movements with lessons on being active and healthy.
It can be an alternative to early specialization in children’s sports, which are seen as very detrimental to development, leading to overuse injuries, burnout, social isolation, or elitism; with no guarantee for success later in life in the same sport. Kids get shuffled from soccer team to soccer team and then get divided into travel teams or elite teams. The focus is on competition and outcome, and not on technique or movement quality.
For children to develop into healthy, active adults, transferable motor skills need to be developed like: jumping, running, twisting, and squatting. Exercise, sports, and movement should be fun with less stress on the outcome, but more stress on the quality of movement and technique.
I’ve seen many young patients come in for overuse injuries from year-round sports with an emphasis on success and competition with long practice sessions. These kids come in injured and have less concern on their future health than they do on the present, and they want to return to their sport as soon as possible.
Crossfit for kids emphasises generalized movement skills that can easily be transferred to everyday life or other sports. Despite the stigma attached to the adult program, Crossfit may be the best thing for young, developing athletes.
If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417. Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ. You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit us.
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