Really? Which would you choose? This antiquated contraption or the cool fun equipment below! The seated machine is basically a waste of time AND MONEY compared to the neuro-sensory rich equipment choices further down this page.
Lean Berets founder Ron Jones teaching his twins balance control
and vestibular function while have fun doing it–BAREFOOT!!!
The Lean Berets would like to propose an interesting thought regarding what is really “safe” and what is actually “dangerous.” In our over-litagated society, we have pushed the safety movement to the absolute edge on many fronts–quite frankly to the point of becoming dysfunctional, and dare we say, even “dangerous” instead of safe–and when looking at the aqua contraption (seated chest & shoulder press) pictured– BORING!!!
Let’s take one very simple example–child playgrounds. Kids used to play on monkey bars, pull up bars, parallel bars, peg boards, climbing ropes, and other so-called “dangerous” pieces of equipment. Interestingly, one of THE best ways to build healthy and safe shoulders in children is with “brachiation.” What is brachiation? Hanging like a monkey! That’s right–playing on the monkey bars for those you old enough to remember seeing and using them. Unfortunately, many schools have removed this equipment all together and replaced them with so-called “safer” choices that do not pose as much risk for injury (and liability for lawsuits); however, we are going to make the point below that we are actually INCREASING our liability by failing to teach our children quality movement.
Lean Berets “Fit Kid” Ronnie “Monkey” Jones (top center)
rope walking @ Stone Mountain State Park in Atlanta, GA
Here’s our thought–by removing equipment that actually teaches kinesthetic awareness, enhances balance and agility, creates functional strength, plus challenges our kids to actually MOVE WELL, we have in fact created a more dangerous generation of kids who simply cannot move properly. By making things “safe”–we have increased danger. We now have millions of people that struggle to walk efficiently let alone run, jump, and climb well enough to “not” get hurt. Guess what? On the nature trail in the real world, there are NO safety cones every few feet. Your body has to figure it out. How can our kids figure out movement if we force them to sit in a chair–even during exercise?!!!
If you want kids to move safely–teach them to MOVE and MOVE WELL. Sitting them on a “safe” weight machine is not going to cut it. In school, giving them “real” physical education with a credentialed physical education teacher that knows and understands proper physical instruction will create a “safer” generation of children because they will actually learn how to move OFF a chair or machine! At home, parents need to start setting an ACTIVE example and getting their butts off the couch. If you don’t know how to do this–hang with The Lean Berets or other fitness professionals so you can learn. It’s very simple. Bring back the bars, ropes, and other body weight exercises and get rid of the excuses to opt kids out of learning and participating in real movement and real fitness.
“Man never rises to great truths without enthusiasm.”
–Vauvenargues, “Reflections and Maxims” (1746)
From a psychological, motivational standpoint, or just plain creating some enthusiasm for fitness, what would inspire you more as a child–or even an adult?!!! Sitting on a boring chest press machine at the park (made for adult males not women or children by the way) or figuring out how to climb onto that cool looking and FUN climbing structure made of cables and curved bars. While the abstract climbing structure looks “dangerous” at first glance due to our lawsuit mentality, it’s actually going to help create a safer group of kids because they will be learning how to move better while “playing” on such equipment. Think about it from a “Fun Factor” too–the chest press is not going to inspire kids (or adults) compared to the abstract three-dimensional and sensory-rich equipment starting to emerge from Europe.
Do your kids and yourselves as adults a fitness favor–find a bar and get on it! Hang, pull, crawl, play, and get fit while doing it too. Enjoy!
- Bars & Calisthenics Resources
- Getting On The Bar (with CrossCore Co-Founder & Brendan Cosso)
- LaSierra High School PE (The way PE should be!)
- Neuro-Enriching Playground Equipment & Parks
Example Photos on this post (with exception to chest press machine) are of sensory and proprioceptive rich playground environments where children (and adults) can enjoy moving and learn how to move better–and yes this means SAFER too! *(Photos by Ron Jones. Copyright 2013.)