CrossFit South Rockland

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Children's crossfit – the doctor's verdict

Children's crossfit – the doctor's verdict

Thursday 14 Apr 2016 8:28 p.m.
Blake and Tyler are seven- and nine-year-old brothers. Every Wednesday they take part in an after-school activity that's a little different. 
They're off to do push-ups, squats, cartwheels, perhaps climb a rope or two.
The brothers are crossfitters and it's a bit of a family activity. Mum Nicole says it gives the family something to talk about and the boys "really love it." 
But children's orthopaedic specialist Dr Matthew Boyle says crossfit for children needs to be approached with great caution. He says for children under eight, the risk outweighs the benefit. 
He says on the rare occasion a child suffers injury to the growth plate of skeleton, it can lead to deformed bone growth. 
"Injury to the growth plate or skeleton of a child is catastrophic."
Genice Paullay-Beazley of Crossfit Waitākere says the training is specific to children, and they don't lift weights heavier than one or two kilograms. 
"I wish people were more concerned about pouring carbohydrates and fizzy drinks down their throats than they were about their child doing a squat or a pull-up or a push-up, frankly."
The children's class is half an hour long and portion of it is dedicated to games, like dodgeball. Ms Paullay-Beazley says the instructors are specifically trained to teach children's crossfit. 
Dr Boyle says while children under eight shouldn't be doing weights or strength training at all, the games are a safe option. 
"Physical activity is important for all children. Below the age of eight they should be encouraged to participate in sports." 
He says after the age of eight, strength training can be undertaken, but it needs to be carefully monitored. 
"The competitive nature of weightlifting should never be embraced in children, and that extends through adolescence."
Watch the video for the full Story report.

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