/ Children and Training
I'm looking for more information on climbing training and children. I've found pages of text about kids and weight lifting but nothing really specific about climbing, just one UKC article.
What i'm interested in is whether exercises such as the plank, press-ups, leg raises etc i.e. body weight and core exercises are going to cause damage to developing bodies or are they beneficial?
My gut instinct says, that as exercises like the plank aren't adding massive extra loads and if built up gradually are fine. I'd like some science to back this up, can anyone help?
"Key questions regarding the training and physiological qualities required to produce an elite rock climber remain inadequately defined. Little research has been done on young climbers. The aim of this paper was to review literature on climbing alongside relevant literature characterising physiological adaptations in young athletes. Evidence‐based recommendations were sought to inform the training of young climbers. Of 200 studies on climbing, 50 were selected as being appropriate to this review, and were interpreted alongside physiological studies highlighting specific common development growth variables in young climbers. Based on injury data, climbers younger than 16 years should not participate in international bouldering competitions and intensive finger strength training is not recommended. The majority of climbing foot injuries result from wearing too small or unnaturally shaped climbing shoes. Isometric and explosive strength improvements are strongly associated with the latter stages of sexual maturation and specific ontogenetic development, while improvement in motor abilities declines. Somatotyping that might identify common physical attributes in elite climbers of any age is incomplete. Accomplished adolescent climbers can now climb identical grades and compete against elite adult climbers aged up to and >40 years. High‐intensity sports training requiring leanness in a youngster can result in altered and delayed pubertal and skeletal development, metabolic and neuroendocrine aberrations and trigger eating disorders. This should be sensitively and regularly monitored. Training should reflect efficacious exercises for a given sex and biological age."
I can't give you any actual information, but gentle bodyweight and core exercises are commonly given to gymnasts from the age of 5-6 upwards.
Assuming children are going to be running around, playing on climbing frames, jumping on the furniture etc, they will be doing these sorts of exercises in a less structured (and unknowing) way anyway...there's no reason not to give them in a more structured way as well as long as you don't overdo it.
Just stay well away from any weights and keep it relatively low-key.
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