CrossFit is one of the training methods that has become more fashionable. Adults use it to increase muscle mass and increase body strength. However, you may wonder if it is also safe for children or adolescents.
In its beginnings, the CrossFit method was not designed for adolescents; it was more for high-performance athletes. Today, coaches have adapted exercises and WODs to be allowed in adolescence, even in children.
Read on to find out how to do CrossFit for teens and what is allowed and not at this stage of life.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit training is a group training method based on the available training mode.
One of the benefits of this method is exercises with handlebars and bars to improve cardiovascular health, respiratory capacity, and strength indicators.
In addition, Crossfit is considered an alternative to a traditional gym muscle hypertrophy routine to strengthen muscles.
CrossFit was not initially designed for teens. However, some coaches have made modifications to adapt the WODs for this stage of life.
Teenagers can dabble in CrossFit training as long as they don’t overdo the loads and focus on bodyweight exercises.
The combination of exercises like pullups and planks is excellent for a teenager. Doing CrossFit is an alternative to a traditional exercise routine for teenagers as long as the emphasis is on technique.
Otherwise, sports injuries can make it impossible for an athlete to develop well in adulthood.
CrossFit for Teens
The trainers or coach have modified the CrossFit routines for adolescents to reduce the intensity of the loads and therefore achieve less impact on the joints.
In any case, if you are a teenager, you must take certain precautions.
Adolescents with a zero level of training (those who have never practiced physical exercise) are recommended to start with a preliminary adaptation with the coach. This way, you can safely transition to CrossFit.
In addition, it is recommended that an adolescent begin to learn the names and movements of the exercises gradually and progressively.
In addition, the CrossFit method is not recommended for adolescents or introverted athletes, or those who prefer to work individually. Pressuring an introvert to compete and socialize by force is not good.
How to start CrossFit?
The important thing when starting CrossFit is to listen to the coach and follow the team. A CrossFit or WOD routine usually begins with a warm-up followed by a strength unit. The exercises are performed in functional circuit mode. That is one after the other with minimal rest time.
At the end of the routine for both adolescents and adults, try to reach a maximum of repetitions of a bodyweight exercise such as burpees.
Each workout (Workout of the Day or WOD) has a specific name. There are hundreds of WOD training sessions in CrossFit, so there are WODs for beginners and advanced levels or children and adolescents.
As far as possible, the coaches should plan the WODs so that they are not repeated in the week. This allows not to give rise to boredom, something essential for a teenager.
Examples of Crossfit exercises for teens
Here are examples of CrossFit exercises for teens:
Burpee is a critical functional CrossFit workout for teens to develop their whole bodies.
Dominated (pullups) – and jumps.
The dominated are ideal for improving posture and can even help physical growth during adolescence. Jumps are excellent exercises to strengthen leg coordination and strength.
Including this exercise in a functional circuit effectively develops the core, improves posture, and corrects the pelvic tilt angle. Teens should work with light weights.
Rope exercises – rope climbing
An ideal exercise for teenagers, it increases the arms and core strength and improves body coordination.
Pushups – Pushups with banks
pushups or pushups in banking are suitable for developing the upper chest muscles and triceps. When executing it at all times, the abdominals must remain tense.
Side Plank with Leg Raise
The abdominal planks are a fundamental functional exercise for strengthening the obliques and lateral gluteal area.
CrossFit – Program for teenagers
If you are a teenager and are thinking of starting CrossFit, you can do the following exercise routine as a test. If you are between 14-and 19 years old and can finish it, it is a sign that you are ready for this training method.
1. Double unders
Start by doing 50 double unders. This exercise is an essential CrossFit exercise ideal for teenagers as it does not require the inclusion of an extra load. It is effective for the preparation of the cardiovascular system and muscular strength. Although it seems simple to start, when you reach repetition number 50, you probably won’t say the same.
Sit-ups are a beginner CrossFit exercise that will burn your lower body muscles. Once the 50 sit-ups are finished, you can decrease from 10 to 10 until you reach 0. If you can do this, you are enabled to start CrossFit and advance to the following levels.
Example of WOD for beginners
Here is an example of WOD for Beginning Teens:
- Heating (Warm-up) – 5 minutes of exercises to warm joints. 5-minute sprint in 10-second intervals.
- Strength unit (Strenght) – Exercises are performed with a maximum interruption of 20 seconds: pushups, ten burpees, ten back squats; front and side planks 1 minute each.
- Central unit (PR – Personal record) –In 15 minutes, you must perform as many cycles of the following exercises as possible: box jumps, pushups, wide grip, and double unders.
- Cooldown – running at low speed, stretching, breathing exercises – 5 minutes each.
CrossFit for teens is allowed. It requires an adaptation of everyday routines with an emphasis on bodyweight exercises.
The main advantage of CrossFit over a traditional gym workout is the improvement of the capacity of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
The downside to CrossFit for both teens and adults is a higher chance of injury to the shoulder and knee joints.
A CrossFit or WOD session for teens is divided into four parts: warm-up, strength unit, central unit, and cool down.
A coach should always supervise a teenager who decides to start CrossFit. Otherwise, the chances of sports injuries are high.