In recent years crossfit as a physical fitness program has gained popularity. The following discusses what crossfit is, the benefits of crossfit, and how it can be used as a fitness program for kids.
What Is Crossfit?
Crossfit is a type of training program that has been used by the military and police programs to get their people in top shape. It provides a holistic approach to fitness in that it covers a broad range of physical activities. The great thing about crossfit is that it can be tailored to fit nearly every individual regardless of age and physical fitness level. Some critics have objected to crossfit for kids citing that it may be too rigorous. But because it can be developed for each individual there is no reason why a child under the supervision of a responsible adult should not engage in crossfit. The age of the participant will greatly determine what kind of routine is implemented and the intensity of the routine.
Specific Areas of Crossfit
There are ten general areas that a crossfit routine will focus on. Crossfit for kids would include these same areas but with activities of lesser intensity. The following list includes the areas in crossfit and activities a child might be working on.
Cardiovascular Endurance – This is the ability of the body to effectively use oxygen. Running, biking, and jumping rope are all examples of cardiovascular activities.
Stamina – This is the ability to effectively use energy in combination with strength. Running a mile or working on the rowing machine would be examples of stamina training.
Strength – This is the ability of the child to apply force, such as lifting a certain amount of weight. Weights can be used with children but should be used sparingly and with adult supervision. Rope climbing can also increase strength.
Flexibility – Touching the toes without bending at the knees would be an example of flexibility. Bear crawls would also fall into this category.
Power – This is similar to strength but includes applying maximum force in a short amount of time. Box jumping would be an example of a power activity.
Speed – While running would obviously be an activity to increase and measure speed, a variety of exercises and activities could be incorporated into this category.
Coordination – Coordination skills involve moving different parts of the body at one time. Simple tasks such as swinging on a swing or patting the head while rubbing the stomach are tests of coordination.
Agility – Any activity in which the child would be turning quickly and changing directions would be part of increasing agility.
Balance – Activities may include hopping on one foot while keeping the eyes closed, walking on a balance beam, or sitting on a large rubber ball.
Accuracy – Kicking a ball into a designated area would measure accuracy.
Benefits of Crossfit
A well rounded routine like crossfit can be a beneficial part of a child’s regular exercise routine. Because crossfit involves a wide variety of activities it may prevent children from becoming bored with exercise. One of the many benefits of crossfit for kids, besides the obvious physical activity, is increased brainpower. Research has long concluded that physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, which increases a child’s ability to concentrate and do well in academics.