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Old 05-06-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Youngsters and exercise

The inclusion of the headstand is purely for example purposes of a different form of exercise not as a comparison to barbell work or anything else.


I'm not entirely sure if there is any solid scientific data, researched from a child's first step to their adult life, or whether this will be all views only...

...the question, or discussion, if you prefer, is whether it is damaging to youngsters to do exercise and if so at what age would we deem it dangerous for their growth and health?

I say exercise, specifically, because the emphasis tends to be on weight training stunting growth or damaging growth plates, outing excess demands on soft tissue and so forth, however, there are numerous exercise forms that could be equally damaging yet considered acceptable in schools everywhere.

One example is compression of the spine in the headstand, something which most children either do as fun or as a school curriculum incorporated within gym classes; yet the child has no training as to the correct way to perform the headstand which is more complex than just turning upside down and balancing on the head and hands...with a sheer force across the neck and spinal column going on...potential for a lot of damage, some of which may already have been caused but has gone unnoticed purely because it is seen as what is done in gym class and has been done for decades.

So, we see children lifting weights, early on in their lives, as well as partaking in other sports which all have the potential for damage to their bodies.




Children have been standing on their heads in gym class for decades and more, an exercise that compresses the spine and yet many if not all appear to have no issues even though it's considered an unsafe practice, so where do you stand and what do you feel about other forms of "dangerous" activities/sports with regard to young children, whether it be hockey, football, weight training etc?







There may be no right or wrong views on this but if you have a view, please feel free to post it...no arguments one way or the other please guys, since I don't believe there is any scientific evidence that backs this particular view up anyway...so, it would come down to pure conjecture.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #2
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well i don't know anything about spine compression, but if you're referencing that to imply the kinds of stresses related to heavy barbell squats, i don't see how a head stand and heavy barbell squats are related to each other. if they both compress the spine, they each do it from an opposite angle. headstands would compress toward the neck while heavy barbell squat would compress toward the coccyx. that alone seems significant.
also, in terms of pressure, it seems like heavy barbell squats would involve much more pressure than a headstand. the two things hardly seem comparable at all.

now that said, does this mean that children shouldn't squat or that if "spinal compression" is occurring that it's even a significant factor? i have absolutely no idea, and i doubt any doctor does either. i will say that when i think of growth plates negatively affecting children, i associate that with injuries and broken bones. i suppose weightlifting would increase children's risk of injury, but i don't see how weightlifting in and of itself would negatively affect growth plates.

in earlier historical periods -- and in Amish communities today -- children worked in agriculture. in fact, schools having summers off was originally due to most children belonging to farming families. i doubt hard farm labor negatively impacted their growth.

i still wouldn't encourage my kids to lift before a certain age, though. i think they should have time to just be kids and run around and play. that's exercise too, and they're improving their gross and fine motor skills.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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well i don't know anything about spine compression, but if you're referencing that to imply the kinds of stresses related to heavy barbell squats, i don't see how a head stand and heavy barbell squats are related to each other...
Hold up guys, this has nothing to do with spinal compression, it was purely an example...


It's not meant as a comparison, per se, just an example of a different exercise, that's all.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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...the question, or discussion, if you prefer, is whether it is damaging to youngsters to do exercise and if so at what age would we deem it dangerous for their growth and health?
In my day we lived outside. (Them olden days)

We were involved in non-stop mischief...climbing on garages, jumping down flights of stairs, cartwheels, tackle football. It never ended. Everything was high impact, bone jarring, running, jumping and falling. It wasn't playing if it didn't have some risk impact to it.

Worst thing that happened was my cousin falling off his bike and breaking his forearm, and that was completely unrelated to mischief. He just fell.

Looking back I think dumbbell and barbell work would pale in comparison to what we put our bodies through. Not that I am against proper instruction, but I do think the "perils" are overblown.

Post a video of a 10 year old deadlifting and 456 people have coronaries. When I was 10 we would ball-sack punch each other 57 times a day after schmearing (tackling) each other in the knees 47 times, which was followed by a 3 hour boredom session in which we would keep jumping off our porch (8 feet down) every 10.2 seconds. We also played dodge ball during recess every day, in which the goal was to hit each other in the face for fun.

Savages.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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I'll throw out that my dad's family were farmers. They did heavy labor their entire childhood starting at 5 years old. They grew to be over 6 feet tall and big and strong and didn't have major issues until they got old and fat
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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i suppose weightlifting would increase children's risk of injury, but i don't see how weightlifting in and of itself would negatively affect growth plates.
That sums it up the best I think.

Too many people think that children should NOT lift weights for fear that they will get injured. These same people sign their kids up for gymnastics, soccer, football, and the like. There is a far greater risk of getting hurt playing those conventional sports than there is getting hurt lifting weights under the supervision of a knowledgeable mentor.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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I do not think that there is anything wrong with starting exercise at a young age. I know lots of kids that I grew up with that did lots of labor on the farm, from milking cows, to working in the fields. And they turned out just fine.
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