Introduction to CrossFit Kids
As mentioned in an earlier post, we are so excited to welcome the team from CrossFit Kids as regular contributers to our blog, offering health and fitness information, tips, and lesson plan suggestions, along with overall instruction (as needed) around the basic principles of CrossFit Kids, wellness and health.
We are highlighting this information to help you learn to encourage and inspire your children to incorporate health and fitness into their every day lives and to improve their ability to learn. However, It is very important that you consult a doctor before you or your children begin any type of exercise. Always stop exercising immediately if you experience any shortness of breath, dizziness, or pain.
And now here's their very first post which will give you some background about what the CrossFit Kids program is all about...
Introducing CrossFit Kids to the K12 Community
CrossFit Kids is a method for teaching CrossFit to children and teens, ages 3-18. CrossFit is a fitness regimen developed by Coach Greg Glassman over several decades. He was the first person in history to define fitness in a meaningful, measurable way (increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains). CrossFit itself is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity).
In the latter half of 2003, Jeff and Mikki Lee Martin started using CrossFit with the teens at their small martial arts studio in Ramona, California. Soon after that, Coach Glassman requested that the Martins create a program specifically for children, and the first CrossFit Kids workout appeared on the Internet (www.crossfitkids.com). The CrossFit Kids program is now in hundreds of gyms and schools around the world.
CrossFit Kids is a strength-and-conditioning program that is specially designed for kids and teenagers and their specific developmental needs and helps them to develop a lifelong love of fitness. In a group setting, children and teens participate in fun and engaging workouts that deliver measurable results and prepare them to be well-rounded athletes.
CrossFit Kids workouts consist of constantly varied, functional movements that deliver a fitness that is broad, inclusive and general (B.I.G.) and are scalable for any participant at any level.
What Does This Mean?
Constantly varied means that, for the most part, no two workouts are the same, so kids and teens never get bored and the novelty of each workout keeps them excited about participating.
The functional movements involve exercises that are fundamental to all things that kids need to do when they play--- pull, push, run, throw, climb, lift and jump. All of the movements are taught safely and effectively under the close supervision of thoroughly trained CrossFit Kids trainers.
When fitness is defined as broad, inclusive, and general (B.I.G.) it means that participants will become well-rounded athletes who will be better at any and every sport that they play because CrossFit Kids doesn’t coach them to be good at just one thing. Our workouts will increase physical competence in 10 fitness domains: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.
With workouts that are scalable, CrossFit Kids can equally benefit a person who is less active or an accomplished athlete by tailoring workouts so that each participant is challenged just enough to deliver measurable results and personal athletic progress.
CrossFit Kids aims to avert childhood obesity by creating an excitement about exercising and providing the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating by focusing on the importance of good nutrition that complements physical activity. While workouts are fun, they also increasingly demand strength, stamina and perseverance. The physical and mental demands of CrossFit Kids foster self-confidence, discipline, persistence, problem solving, and integrity that can be applied in all areas of children’s lives.
Important Safety Note: Start slow. Yes, we want the kids to work hard, but we never demand children to work harder or faster during a workout. This is a critically important point: With children, we always privilege good movement over speed. (1) We do not want them so sore the next day that they are hurting. (2) It is our long-standing experience that when children move well consistently over time, they will eventually move faster safely.
General Age-Appropriate Guidelines:
Preschool (Ages 3-5): Able to focus enough to engage in supervised play that involves fundamental movement skills and the simplest foundational movements, e.g., the squat. All movements are done without weights. To make this clear: We NEVER load preschool-age kids during a workout. NEVER.
Elementary (Ages 5-12): Able to focus and take instruction on the foundational CrossFit movements. Introduction to gymnastics-style resistance training with very light external objects, e.g., starting with a PVC pipe and moving toward 10-pound dumbbells contingent on capacity.
Novice (Ages 12-14): Approaching proficiency in body weight movements and seeing an increase in volume. Familiar with light dumbbell movements and beginning to use barbells with light loads.
Junior Varsity (Ages 13-16): Proficient in body weight movements. Starting to explore heavier loads with weighted movements and higher volumes and intensity more generally.
Varsity (Ages 13-18): Comfortable with high-volume, high-intensity body weight movements. Capable of executing some complex gymnastic movements, eg, the muscle-up, handstand walking, and the handstand push-up, and is starting to explore, under experienced supervision, more advanced gymnastics movements, eg, levers, ring handstand push-ups. Comfortable with powerlifting and Olympic weight lifting movements. It should be noted that Varsity-level kids ages 13-14 are exceptional and would likely have many years of training at a registered CrossFit Kids program.
Look for their next post featuring the Fundamentals of the Squat, where you will learn the basics of instructing your kiddos on doing a Squat!