COLUMBIA STREET WATERFRONT DISTRICT — For these kids, CrossFit is the new playtime.
Columbia Street CrossFit is hosting a new children’s program for teens and toddlers as young as 3 at their studio at 68 Summit St.
CrossFit for adults is considered a strength and conditioning program that uses “high-intensity” exercises and for kids, “it’s not a scaled-down version,” said Michele Kelber, the children’s instructor.
While using the same fundamentals of CrossFit, the children will play CrossFit “games,” especially for the younger athletes, during warm-ups and workout routines, said Kelber.
Keeping away from weights and barbells, she focuses on flexibility and repetitive exercises, which help kids build muscle, said Kelber.
Bear crawls, crab walks and frog sits and stands are used for warm-up games, said Kelber, and along with squats and overhead presses, the children will also perform workouts like “monkey hangs,” a rope-clinging exercise and even navigate through obstacle courses and mazes.
“We encourage the intensity in terms of their output,” said Kelber, who discusses each exercise with students after the class.
Whether they're natural athletes or children who stay away from sports, as kids improve in CrossFit, “their level of self-confidence and self-esteem just rises,” said Kelber. “That translates through the rest of their lives.”
Since CrossFit is based on individual ability and strength, each child sets their own goals and needn’t be the fastest or strongest – a factor often necessary to excel in team sports, said Kelber.
“There’s no gate keeper in CrossFit,” said Kelber.
But at the end of each session, Kelber encourages her students to support and cheer each other as teammates would.
“Really, this whole class is one team.”
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