CrossFit kids fit for life

Central Queensland News - - SPORT - Louise Shan­non Louise.Shan­non@news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

FROM boost­ing phys­i­cal health to help­ing cre­ate pos­i­tive mind­sets in young chil­dren and teens, reg­u­lar CrossFit ses­sions are ben­e­fit­ing around 40 lo­cal chil­dren a week.

Gayle Kruger, Mem­ber Ser­vices and coach with CrossFit Vivid, Emer­ald, said it was amaz­ing to watch the chil­dren de­velop strength and skills dur­ing their weekly classes.

“The kids who’ve been do­ing it for 12 months – some come twice a week – you can see the de­vel­op­ment in their move­ment,” she said.

Ms Kruger said three weekly classes were held for chil­dren across three age groups: chil­dren, 5-8 years old (half-hour class); youth, 8-12 years old (45-minute class); and teenagers, 13-17 years old (one-hour class).

“We have lots of boys in the class, so we’re try­ing to build the num­bers of girls,” she said. “The weights are con­trolled, and they’re not al­lowed to just go in and do what­ever they want. We teach the me­chan­ics, and then we add in­ten­sity, whether by load or num­ber of rep­e­ti­tions.”

Ms Kruger said many of the chil­dren at­tend­ing the CrossFit classes also played other sports such as foot­ball, touch foot­ball, and net­ball.

“We’ve had par­ents com­ment on how much their kids have im­proved in their other sport, so there’s a lot of ben­e­fits to the train­ing,”

She said she also be­lieved the men­tal health ben­e­fits of reg­u­lar ex­er­cise were im­por­tant for young peo­ple.

“De­pres­sion in teens can be a big thing. It can help keep them away from un­healthy dis­trac­tions with a healthy life­style, and it teaches them about healthy choices.

“We fol­low the CrossFit kids pro­gram, which is a world­wide pro­gram with nine foun­da­tion move­ments.

“We use th­ese but we scale them back de­pend­ing on what age group the chil­dren are in.”

Ms Kruger said CrossFit for younger chil­dren fo­cused on games in­cor­po­rat­ing spe­cific ex­er­cises.

“We do dead­lifts, but with the kids we call them ‘an­gry go­ril­las’ and we don’t give them any weight. They just use the PVC pipe.”

CrossFit Vivid runs two-hour train­ing camps over three days on the school hol­i­days, and the pro­gram in­cludes water play and team work.

Ms Kruger said it was im­por­tant for chil­dren to de­velop a sense of “be­long­ing” and be able to work with each other.

“We like to fos­ter an in­clu­sive at­mos­phere. It’s great for men­tal stim­u­la­tion and en­cour­ag­ing a pos­i­tive out­look.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

ON THE UP: CrossFit classes have lifted the health and well be­ing of lo­cal kids.

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