5 Exercises Kids Should Never Do

February 12th, 2013 posted by eFit.com

Why a great workout for you could be dangerous to your kids

Fitness isn’t just a fad; it’s a way of life. Sooner or later, your kids will want to make it a part of their lives, too — if they’re not too turned off by their gym classes, that is — and you should encourage them be as active as possible. However, not all exercise is good exercise when it comes to kids. Jordan Metzl, M.D., a pediatric sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, explains that kids go through rapid physical changes between the ages of 8 and 12. For girls, a growth spurt will occur usually around the age of 8 or 9, and boys will encounter the changes around the age of 11 or 12. “During this sort of adolescent growth and development,” says Metzl, “kids’ bones are growing a lot faster than their muscles.” Because of this phenomenon, kids lose flexibility as they grow, says Metzl, because the rapid growth puts pressure on their tendons. At this age, children’s bones have growth plates made out of cartilage, and that’s where the bone growth is happening. Eventually, these growth plates will form new cartilage that will turn into bone. “Growth plate protection is essential when kids exercise, because if the plates are injured, bone growth can be arrested, which can lead to delayed or even stunted growth,” explains Metzl. Now that you know what’s going on in your kids’ bodies, keep an eye out for these exercises they should never do. Armed with this knowledge, you can motivate your kids to be active, but let them know where they need to draw the line to protect themselves from injury. Power lifting. If your kids are lifting weights, make sure they’re doing high repetitions with low weights. If they use weights that are too heavy, they may damage their growth plates. Weight-bearing exercise should always be done with extreme caution. Kids shouldn’t do leg extensions (for the quadriceps) using too much weight; it could seriously damage the growth plates in their hips. Your child should never do a bench press without supervision. About two adolescent fatalities occur each year because kids drop the weight on their chest during this exercise. Boys, especially, should be wary of this, because they might be inclined to try to lift more weight than they can control. Squats. When young adolescents perform squats, they’re putting a great deal of stress on the area directly under their kneecaps, where the muscle meets the bone. This can lead to cartilage damage. Biking or inline skating without a helmet. If a child takes a spill and hits his or her head on the ground, the injury could lead to a concussion, a short or long-term brain injury or even a skull fracture.

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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