I get a lot of questions regarding our CrossFit Zone Kids program.
“Do they lift weights?” people ask. “Doesn’t that hurt them?” Another common question I get is, “What exactly do you DO with the kids? Do they do workouts?”
I thought I’d explain a bit more about our program, and why we find it a valuable and useful resource for any and all children.
Strength is one of the 10 general physical skill that results in “measurable changes” in the body, brought about by training. Strength can be defined as “the ability of a muscular unit or combo of muscular units to apply force” (Glassman). Gains in strength indicate the body has increased its ability to apply force.
CrossFit Kids participate in training that provides a means to foster these adaptations. The lift movements such as shoulder presses, deadlifts and thrusters frequently make their way into workouts. Medicine balls are thrown and pushed in exercises such as wall ball, and throws for height and distance. Benchmark workouts like “Lil’ Diane” utilize a couplet of deadlifts and handstand pushups in which increasing weights and decreasing times are indicators of gains in strength. These movements build strength by exposing the body to stressors that enhance its capacity to handle such loads. Mindful of the need to maintain attention and focus with children, we incorporate fun, game-like elements while maintaining the stimulus. Additionally, the need to make careful use of progressive loading according to skill and capacity when working with children is of primary concern.
The importance of strength training cannot be overestimated, as it is foundational to the development of all the biomotor skills. Strength training not only increases the ability to apply force, a pivotal aspect of power, it improves endurance by prolonging the amount of time it takes for muscles to fatigue. 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.
Agility refers to the “ability to quickly transition from one movement pattern to another” (Glassman). This is what we often recognize in athletes as quickness and ease of movement. For example, a soccer player dribbling the ball down the field must utilize his body to carry out multiple movements and directional changes at a moment’s notice. An accomplished soccer player is nimble, displaying the ability to quickly and precisely change the body’s direction. We might say “he can turn on a dime.” Agility, like the other general physical skills, does not stand alone. It requires “balance, coordination, reflexes, speed and strength” (wikipedia) and is improved through consistent practice that brings about changes to the nervous system. Agility training has at its core those movements which require the individual to repeatedly practice and improve the ability to effectively change velocity and direction.
Displays of agility are not isolated to the sporting field. For most of us the need to “transition” is more necessary to daily life. Dodging a moving object such as a teenager on a skateboard, spying and avoiding a stray glob of chewed gum on the ground, and running through a crowded airport all require agility. CrossFit kids become more agile by practicing movements that force repeated changes in direction and fast reaction times.
If you’re wondering whether CrossFit Kids Zone is right for your child, email Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our programming and classes.
CF OPEN WOD #1 is released tonight. Come in and complete it at 7:30pm (Start warming up prior to 7:30pm). If you want to help Judge, come on down to help!
Buy In – Thrusters 5 x 5 reps
* increase weight each set
* Work on explosive power from the hip as you drive the weight overhead
* Maintain a solid core through the whole movement
WOD – “Dumb Elizabeth”
21-15-9 Reps for time:
DB Squat clean (35/55)
Zone 3 – Scale DB`s to 20/35lbs
Zone 2 – scale to assisted dips on rings or parallel bars
Zone 1 – scale DB`s as needed and sub pushups for dips
Cash Out – MWOD
* Tricep stretch with rubber band
* Rollout all three heads of the tricep with a ball while extending the arm