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The Benefits (And Risks) in CrossFit Kids

Thursday, September 27, 2012

When you think of CrossFit, the image of muscular men pushing tires may come to mind, but would you put your kids through the same strength and conditioning program?

Yesterday, the Washingtonian published an article, “Is CrossFit for Kids Safe?”  In the article, they interviewed Children’s National’s division chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Laurel Blakemore, MD, along with the CrossFit cofounder and teachers to discuss the health benefits and the dangers associated with CrossFit Kids.

Benefits of CrossFit

  • Begin healthy habits early
  • Kids may think it’s fun
  • Kids are working out on Saturday mornings, instead of watching cartoons
  • Some families do CrossFit together

So, CrossFit can help kids develop a good base for an active and healthy future. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends getting 45 to 60 minutes of activity on as many days as possible and CrossFit could be a great way to accomplish this. We talked to Dr. Blakemore to find out more on the risk factors of CrossFit for kids.

Risks of CrossFit

  • Kids shouldn’t overspecialize in one area; doing a variety of activities is healthy
  • Any program done in excess can be dangerous
  • Severe exertion could lead to rhabdomyolysis, which is the breakdown of muscle fibers released into the bloodstream and could cause kidney damage 

Dr. Blakemore said in the article that the focus for kids should be on fitness and not pushing your body to the limits. She also said there should be an emphasis on supervision.

“There needs to be a lot of thought on skillset and supervision,” she said. “When weight-training, they need to make sure it corresponds with the kid’s weight.”

So, would you enroll your child in CrossFit?


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