WHY CROSSFIT KIDS?
1. Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance in CrossFit Kids
The CrossFit Kids program uses the template of randomized, functional exercises, performed at high intensity. Adjustments are made to accommodate the specific needs and requirements of children and teens. Workouts consist of exercises containing elements drawn from the above enumerated physical skills, while special attention is paid to utilizing progressions for difficult or compound movements, and progressive loading dictated by size, age and consistency in form. CrossFit Kids often perform workouts with a time component, moving quickly from one exercise to the next, thereby creating the intensity necessary to achieve these goals. Highly vigorous exercises like box jumps, tuck jumps, jump rope, sprints, etc. create aerobic and metabolic changes which increase cardiovascular/respiratory endurance and stamina. This positively impacts the body's capacity for exercise and lays the foundation for the remaining general physical skills.
2. Coordination in CrossFit Kids
We take every opportunity to improve coordination levels and increase confidence in even our most awkward children. The gains we have seen made by our CrossFit Kids are phenomenal. Repetition is our greatest ally in enhancing coordination. For example, a move, performed in X-number of reps for X-number of sets, naturally begins to develop a competence for that move. Regular practice at handstands trains the body to recognize and apply the force and muscle activation required to invert oneself and remain in place. The same can be said for an unlimited number of physical demands that become easier to perform with repetition. The body's capacity to adopt most any movement as "second nature" inherently increases coordination.
3. Flexibility in CrossFit Kids
Flexibility is "the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint" (Glassman). It is achieved through training that, once again, results in "measurable" changes in the body. To improve flexibility means to "increase range of motion, as well as increasing bone, ligament and joint stability" (Sefcik). Flexibility is an oft-overlooked aspect of physical fitness. However, a lack thereof can hinder performance in every other general physical skill. CrossFit stresses flexibility both in relation to multiple modalities and in terms of overall fitness.
Our comprehensive CrossFit Kids program addresses flexibility training in each and every workout. In some cases the application will be a product of the movement, i.e. elbows up in a thruster or hips back in a squat. Other times we emphasize a specific area of flexibility, i.e. active stretching or various gymnastics movements.
4. Strength in CrossFit Kids
CrossFit Kids participate in training that provides a means to foster these adaptations. Strength can be gained through bodyweight movements, gymnastics, plyometrics and/or slowly progressed weight-loaded movements. Medicine balls are thrown and pushed in exercises such as wall ball, slam ball and throws for height and distance. The importance of strength training cannot be overestimated, as it is foundational to the development of all the biomotor skills. These neuromuscular changes effect every aspect of life from the way one looks and feels to fitness training and involvement in specialized sports (Rippetoe/Kilgore). For the young athlete focused on strength gains, optimal Sports Conditioning can be best accomplished through a carefully crafted CrossFit program.
5. Agility in CrossFit Kids
CrossFit kids become more agile by practicing movements that force repeated changes in direction and fast reaction times. The most obvious of these is the use of an agility ladder. Hopping forward on one foot or two between rungs and high-stepping or side-stepping down the ladder all improve agility. Hopscotch is a great way to challenge the agility of a child. Obstacle courses that require directional changes and weaving in-and-out are effective training tools.
6. Balance in CrossFit Kids
CrossFit Kids workouts address the development of balance in a number of ways. One primary contribution is the CrossFit commitment to midline stabilization. Midline stabilization refers to the ability of the torso to function from a position of stability and strength without compromising correct posture, form or function which requires the collective and cooperative functioning of the entire torso including, but not limited to, the abdominals. This is a necessity in daily life and of immeasurable value in the face of increased physical challenges. Balance is also improved through an emphasis on appropriate form which creates the need for kids to properly place their bodies in order to achieve the best movement. In a nutshell, if a child does not have a good center of gravity, form will inevitably break down as the child loses balance. Since all movement requires balance, every aspect of a CrossFit workout addresses this issue.
7. Speed in CrossFit Kids
Speed is a measurement of the rate at which a person or object moves. In CrossFit, we are always trying to move faster. Run faster, throw the ball faster, move the weight faster. Speed is one of the factors that determine how quickly you will get your workouts done. It also gives you the ability to catch your brother when he's tagged you "it," throw the ball across home plate or play dodge ball.
As a function of the ten general physical skills, speed is "the ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement" (Glassman). Speed offers an important illustration of CrossFit Kids efficiency and efficacy in its correlation with the other general physical skills, an interdependence that cannot be ignored. Increased speed is only possible through adequate development of the other skills. At the same time, excellence in the other skills often depends upon increases in speed. Without proper neuromuscular development and sufficiently improved heart and lung capacities, speed cannot increase. By the same token, speed plays an integral role in almost every athletic endeavor. By training each of the general physical skills, we enhance our ability to perform in any given area.
8. Power in CrossFit Kids
Power is a combination of how strong you are and how fast you can move. What that means is the more weight you move and the faster you move it, the more powerful you are. Each CrossFit workout you complete requires you to use power. Functional movements (pretty much everything we do in CrossFit Kids) are unique in their ability to express power, from box jumps, in which body weight is being explosively moved, to thrusters. Strength is important. Speed is essential. But power is the metric that we seek. We want our kids to move bigger loads, longer distances, FASTER! In the quest for fitness, power trumps.
9. Accuracy in CrossFit Kids
Accuracy is the ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity. A detail-oriented skill, accuracy teaches children how to fine tune their muscles and nervous systems, and exercise their eye-hand – or eye-body – coordination by building on their ability to perform functional movements quickly. Examples of accuracy in CrossFit Kids workouts include obstacle courses and gymnastics moves.
10. Stamina in CrossFit Kids
Stamina is the ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy. The CrossFit Kids program uses the template of randomized, functional exercises, performed at relative, high intensity. Workouts consist of exercises containing elements drawn from the above enumerated physical skills, while special attention is paid to utilizing progressions for difficult or compound movements, and progressive loading dictated by size, age and consistency in form. CrossFit Kids perform workouts with a time component, moving quickly from one exercise to the next, thereby creating the intensity necessary to achieve these goals. By applying these movements into a fun environment that promotes good form and high intensity games stamina will progressively increase and improve overall performance.