CrossFit isn’t just for adults! It’s growing in popularity among young kids. While it’s still relatively new, CrossFit for kids is a strength and conditioning program consisting mainly of a mix of aerobic exercise, calisthenics as well as Olympic weightlifting.
Holly Newman, a coach in Indianapolis, Holly Newman, was able to get special training and a certification to teach young children basic, functional movements associated with the “CrossFit Kids” program.
“We encourage them to have fun. We focus on mechanics first, then we stay there for a long time until they get the movement down. Then, we go to consistency. Then, intensity is the last on the list. Kids have access to iPads, PlayStation, you name it. They’re just coming home from school, just sitting behind the TV not getting really active. We want to make sure they keep themselves physically fit and having fun while doing so, so they can take it into their future (source).”
The original CrossFit gym is in Santa Cruz, California, and the first affiliated gym was the CrossFit North in Seattle, Washington. As of 2005, there were 13 and today there are over 10,000. It’s not so much a specialized fitness program as it is an attempt at targeting 10 specific fitness domains and exercising them to the best of your ability.
10 domains of CrossFit
- cardiovascular and respiratory endurance
- coordination as well as accuracy
For a lot of young kids in America, their physical needs just aren’t being met. Kids aren’t able to comprehend how strong they actually are. Their joints have never had experienced of true resistance. CrossFit for kids could actually help establish proper exercise techniques at an early age, decreasing injury later in life.
CrossFit for kids isn’t exactly like the adult classes. A lot of these kid classes will consist of push ups, pull ups and squats but they won’t be doing extremely heavy weight. Kids don’t need to push themselves too hard in order to see the benefits of CrossFit.
It’s all about functional movements, old-school playground fun, a combination of things like jumping, pulling, pushing and tumbling. Kids do things like that because their bodies actually crave the physical energy. Rolling and going upside down relates their vestibular, which has to do with their balance, which has to do with anxiety and things of that nature. While the jumping simply has more to do with bone density.
Doing exercises like CrossFit, getting out into the park, into the playground, playing relatively low-impact sports throughout their childhood will keep them fit, healthy, and happy!