Crosstraining for children and teens - what are the benefits?
Reading time: 8 min.
The growth of a sedentary lifestyle in children and teenagers is one of the biggest concerns parents have nowadays. Most of them tend to draw a comparison between their childhood and youth activities and their children's activities now - and eventually recognize that the younger generations are becoming less active, more passive and spend less time on the outdoor. The evolution of technology, gadgets and virtual games brought the growth of unhealthy habits to a generation that is expected to be less active than its parents and grandparents.
Adding to this, the reality that we have in our public schools is very precarious concerning Physical Education: the main interest of the education system is to follow the programs already defined (basketball, football, volleyball, etc.)... However, most of the time, these programs don't cover essential matters, such as creating healthy habits, correcting postures and developing functional movements. One of the sports that try to prevent this is crosstraining, which helps to develop physical skills such as coordination, agility, balance, flexibility, among others. The primary goal is to ensure that they are able to squat properly, carry weights with correct postures (such as the backpacks that they take to school) and correct unhealthy habits (for example spending too much time sitting at a desk or use the mobile phone for too long can lead to an anteriorization of the shoulders). With the right plan, crosstraining can help the youngest to develop proper body posture and enough muscle density to become healthier adults with less risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Some of the skills associated with this sport are:
- Improved coordination;
- Increased cardiorespiratory capacity;
- Balance improvement;
- More precision;
- Increased strength.
However, there is also a concern to pass on some concepts associated with nutrition, to help children and teenagers create healthier habits early on.
If the child is already practising other sport, this is a perfect option to complement other sports such as roller hockey, soccer, rugby, karate. There are several recommendations from parents that ensure their children have greatly improved their performance in other sports since they began training crosstraining.
How are lessons like?
One of the coach's main goals is to take away the sense of obligation in these lessons, so in most cases (especially Preschool and Kids), crosstraining is taught by playing games that teach the various functional movements, making training fun and removing the sense of obligation imposed by parents. In these classes, the little ones will learn how to pin and somersault, hang on the structure and eventually move some loads that will always be appropriate to the physical level of each individual since it will be the coach who always decides.
And for parents who already practice crosstraining?
Crosstraining is usually the first option for parents who already practice the sport. One of the great advantages is to get your child to train at the same place and at the same time as you and thus facilitate schedules and routines (there are many boxes with kids and adults classes at the same time).
However, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of crosstraining classes for children and teenagers is not to create the next great athlete but to make them grow up with the feeling that sports are fun being healthy is not a must. It is important that, although they already practice the sport, parents should never put pressure on their children, under sentence they will lose their love for the sport.
In short, the most important is the health and the life quality of the little ones, which can be worked on early, in a relaxed and suitable way. We should be careful to ensure that they grow up healthy and become functional adults, but without putting great stress on their routine and freeing them from the sense of obligation to train.
The most important is that they have fun!
Article written by Carina Simões and Nádia Abreu - Crossfit Coaches