CrossFit for Toddlers: Do Tots Really Need Toned Bodies?

Say What!? 12

The next time someone tells you your little one lacks muscle definition and stamina -- because that is so often a concern we associate with toddlers -- tell them not to fear. You can just enroll him in a CrossFit class!

Yep, a CrossFit gym in New York is offering classes for children as young as 3, where your littlest bodybuilder will perfect his or her ability to perform overhead presses -- without weights, thank goodness -- and squat, squat, squat to work that adorably chubby gluteus maximus into tip-top shape. Is this a wonderful idea that will only help our children increase their strength? Or a horrendous one that will make our toddlers the most body conscious tots on earth? 

CrossFit has been in the news a lot lately, mainly because of a photo one woman posted on Facebook in which she is hoisting a heavy weight over her eight month pregnant belly while in the midst of her strenuous CrossFit workout. But other opinions of the workout have surfaced as well, including one that reminds folks that CrossFit actually markets itself as "The Sport of Fitness." Which is all well and good if you are into physically challenging yourself and setting goals for how many squats you can perform, how far you can fling a tire, and whether or not you can complete a Spartan Race.

But I worry that toddlers and little ones won't gain much from this way of thinking. They should be allowed to focus on achieving goals that are fun and competitive, but that won't place all their attention on specific body parts. Simply allowing them to run around like maniacs in the grass, throw and catch balls, and make it across the monkey bars at the playground seems far healthier to me than bringing them to a CrossFit and introducing them to the no pain, no gain mentality of adult workouts. 

I'm open to being really wrong about this. I have friends who swear by CrossFit and I have a good friend who regularly brings her daughters to her gym with her. They use some of the safer equipment while mom works out. Their entire family's attitude toward health and fitness is exemplary. So I get that side of the argument. I just question the sanity of starting them so young and hope it doesn't lead to a preoccupation with appearance and body issues later on in their lives.

Would you enroll your toddler or young child in CrossFit classes?

 

Image Via CherryPoint/Flickr

 

boys, girls, in the news, play, safety, toddler activities, toddler health

12 Comments

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jalaz77 jalaz77

If it burns off steam then yes. It's far from adult cross fit, this teaches them about the different types of exercises. Also a way for kid and parent to bond.

nonmember avatar Amber

Honestly you need to do research. There are pleanty of toddlers who have need of exercise to increase muscle tone. My two year old has hypotonia. Wich is low muscle tone. It effects everything she does from walking to running to jumping and climbing stairs. None of those things are easy or necessarily safe for her. If I had a place where we could go to work on it with minimum distractions and someone who knew what they were doing to guide me in helping her your are damn straight I would take advantage of it. Just because you don't see a need for something doesn't mean there isn't one.

Jenn Foreacre

I'm all for encouraging exercise with children, and I see no problem with exercise classes aimed at children... so long as the message that CHILDREN DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THEIR WEIGHT is made abundantly clear and emphasized over and over and over.

Jenn, http://www.jenn.nu

Todd Vrancic

No, but that's because we cannot afford gym memberships.

nonmember avatar ann

i think this is an awesome idea. i see it as the same as karate, gymn astics, or ballet: a venue for kids to be active and experience a structured class environment. my kids love doing stretching and attempting to keep up with my workout videos so i think they'd love this.

Heath... HeatherMarieT88

Yea if she wanted to do something like that then I would. I stress excercise through play. My daughter is weak from surgeries so as long as she wanted to do something like that and we got an ok from the doctor why the heck not? I used to have an elliptical machine and my daughter always wanted to exercise on that to be healthy lol. I take my fitness seriously because I want to be able to keep up and be healthy for my family. She looks up to me and I never call myself fat around my daughter even when I feel fat. As long as you let you're kids know you are doing it to stay healthy, you don't need to bring body image into it. I feel that since they look up to you as their primary role models if you have a problem with your body image then they might start to think something is wrong with the way they look too.

Heath... HeatherMarieT88

Your* kids not you're kids oops lol

Craig Massey

CrossFit Kids is not the same CrossFit you see adults doing and doesn’t look much like the CrossFit you see at the CrossFit games

For toddlers, CrossFit is more like supervised play.
The intent is that kids have fun learning to move, with special emphasis on the fun aspect.

From the CrossFit Kids site (http://www.crossfitkids.com/)
“CrossFit Kids is not simply a scaled down version of CrossFit, it is entirely absolutely CrossFit, geared and designed for a special population and the specific developmental needs of that population. (neurological, cognitive, motor)”

Even for adults, CrossFit doesn’t place any emphasis on developing specific body parts, in fact it specifically works atop avoid that. In the kids program, that is even more the case. The program is about movements that mimic real life activities to develop a general ability to move. Kids squat, jump run, climb, roll, tumble and put things overhead. They learn how to use their bodes correctly in a fun and safe environment.

Take a look at the CrossFit Kids Educator's Info and FAQ for more information about the program and why it’s probably the best thing you can do for your kids.
http://www.crossfitkids.com/index.php/info_faq/

Paws84 Paws84

Uh, no. My daughter not all not be a future 'ooh lemme wear knee high socks, booty shorts, put on makeup to go the gym, ooooopsss! Almost forget to take a hot selfie before my workout! *snap, snap,s nap* ooh lemme have my BFF take a pic of me squatting!! Sayyyy FACEBOOK! *snap* attention-whore chick. Lol that's all I see on FB anymore. I'm all for taking care of yourself and being fit, but why beg for attention while doing it? My daughter is better than that.

Paws84 Paws84

Will* not all*

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