For the first blog in a series on crossfit kids I thought I’d take it right back to the beginning, what is crossfit for kids, how does it work, and address some of the preconcepGons like ‘kids shouldn’t be doing crossfif’ and ‘crossfit is dangerous’. At the Chamber we run kids and teens classes, catering for 4 year olds all the way through to teens, in fact some of our now adult members started in the kids program. It might look like organised chaos at Gmes, especially our liLle kids class, but rest assured there’s method to the madness! Each kids or teens classes is specifically programmed for the age group, and develops speed, agility, coordinaGon, balance, mobility and strength. Kids and teens classes can look very different, but the fundamental approach remains the same, a strong focus on technique and fun. With our smaller kids we use a lot of games to get them moving and exploring, as well as teaching fundamental movements like squaSng, picking things up and hanging. We aren’t doing complex Olympic liUs, or burying them under heavy weights, but we do load them through the use of jumping, and their own bodyweight. Most importantly we have a lot of fun, with favourite acGviGes including stacks on the coach (probably their favourite thing next to using heaps of chalk), and the shark game. Our teens classes look a lot more like tradiGonal crossfit that you and I are used to, with a strong focus on technique, the fundamental liUs, condiGoning and mobility. Many of our teens play other sports so we aim to complement their training and choose movements and workouts to help them in their other acGviGes. So what about some of those preconcepGons? Some of you may be aware of the kids and teens programs, having seen the tail end of the classes, or some teens training alongside the adults or in the open. Some of you may have reservaGons about kids doing crossfit, even if you love it yourself. I know I have fielded a lot of quesGons about what we do with kids and how the classes work! So let’s quickly look at a couple of common concerns… But isn’t it kind of dangerous, leSng kids run around the gym? It could be, a crossfit gym has a lot of heavy things and stuff to fall over, and the last place you would want kids running around is the gym when barbells are flying, but that’s why we run a separate, tailored kids program. Having the Gme and space for the kids to take over the gym means it is set up specifically for them. Class sizes are smaller to ensure high levels of supervision and individualised coaching. Kids and teens need different cues and focuses to adult classes, and it’s vital to find the right way to coach our younger members to keep them safe and having fun in the gym. But what about liUing weight, isn’t that bad for kids? That’s a quesGon I will address in more depth in a future blog, but in short we use different types of load, depending on ages. For our youngest members ‘load’ is as simple as using their own body weight, and adding jumping or landing. We also may use very light weights (0.25 – 4kg) for farmers carries, or to do something just like mum or dad, like deadliUs. For our teens we begin to add in light weights and have a periodised focus on some key liUs including squaSng, deadliUs and pressing. As always the key focus is on technique first, just like in our adults classes.
There are so many more things I could go into, but that’s why you’re geSng a series of blogs! I encourage you to ask any quesGons you might have about crossfit for your children, or any topics you’d like covered in the series. I am so lucky to be trusted with our youngest members, and I can’t wait to share some of the things I have learnt over the last few years coaching.