So what is Kids’ CrossFit all about?
It’s about functional movements—what I would consider to be old-school playground fun. Jumping, pulling, pushing, tumbling—a combination of all those things where there’s a purpose. Kids do things like that because their bodies actually crave a purpose. Rolling and going upside down has to do with their vestibular, which has to do with their balance, which has to do with anxiety and things like that. The jumping has to do with bone density.
CrossFit is great for kids because of the wide variety of disciplines it involves, from weightlifting to calisthenics to gymnastics. Kids brains are like little sponges, itching to make neurological connections and adaptations. These connections in the brain are made in response to stimuli. The more kids can be exposed to when they are young, the more connections and capacities they develop and retain for the rest of their lives. Think of friends you have who did not play sports growing up, unless they have consciously worked at it as an adult, they are probably still somewhat uncoordinated. On the other hand, people you know who trained regularly in athletics growing up have a capacity to take on new things still as adults and display efficient and effective movement with their bodies.
CrossFit is similar to sports and martial arts in how it can develop children on an emotional level. In SFC program we work with kids on sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork, listening skills, self-discipline and manners. These are all skills, though not physical, that will help kids become successful later in life. In addition, SFCsee a noticeable difference in the confidence level of children who have been doing CrossFit. As their bodies get fitter and their abilities expand, children generally become more physically active and less self-conscious in other athletic situations. I have also seen children lose considerable amounts of weight, resulting in a major change in body image and a big boost in self-esteem. This is especially important and beneficial in the pre-teen years.
Fitness as a Lifestyle
One of the main reasons SFC started working with children is because it was important to SFC to instill the value of fitness at an early age. It is also important to make sure kids find fitness fun – if children grow up associating working out with being something enjoyable and clearly seeing the benefits to their bodies and health, then they are more likely to keep fitness as a priority throughout their lives. Eating healthy becomes a natural and normal choice and being active becomes something they just do. Enrolling kids in an all-encompassing program like CrossFit also shows children health and fitness is something their parents prioritize and want to educate them about.