In Kids, Videos

February 14, 2012

Video Article

Fun, quality of movement and the prescription—those are the three elemental pillars part and parcel to the CrossFit Kids program.

“It is imperative that you pair fitness with fun—has to happen,” Todd Widman says during a CrossFit Kids Trainer Course at CrossFit New England. “If they do not have fun, you have ruined them for life.”

Just remember that fun changes as preschoolers become preteens and then teenagers.

Quality of movement is also paramount.

“We’re training children how to move so that we can embed these movement patterns for life,” he explains.

Children primarily become stronger by building muscle-to-brain connections. Thus, it’s essential for coaches to place emphasis on good movements—not the amount of weight children are moving, Widman says.

Finally, the CrossFit Kids prescription is similar to that of the adult program: constantly varied functional movement executed at high intensity. But Widman says the timeline is different. For children, years should be spent on mechanics and consistency before moving to intensity.

“For children, do less better,” he says. “We’re not trying to load them up. We’re not trying to get them to go fast and hard. We’re trying to get them to move better for years.”

Video by Again Faster.

14min 44sec

Additional reading: Throwing Down the Gauntlet by Hilary Achauer, published Nov. 19, 2011.



8 Comments on “CrossFit Kids Trainer Course: The Three Pillars”


wrote …

I recently took the crossfit kids course. It was awesome. The trainers shared a wealth of knowledge and insight for training and working with kids the corssfit way.


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Great video Todd. I have a question, you got a minute? haha

Anyways, would you ever take away the game at the end if, say, the kids' behavior was bad? There have been a few occasions where the kids we train were just not cooperating that day, and we did not include the game at the end (which is typically soccer.) It kinda works because they usually listen when we mention the possibility of taking away the game, but I would like to find an alternative to get them to cooperate. Any input would be appreciated.


replied to comment from Chris Sinagoga


Excellent question!

The first thing that I would like to congratulate you on is not falling into the trap of using exercise as punishment. Remember, we want exercise to be fun, so great job there.

Second: You are very close to doing exactly what we would do, but I offer a slight modification: if you take away the whole game, what motivation do you have to reel them back in? If you tell them that you are going to take away a couple of minutes of the game, then they think that they can still earn some of that much desired fun time at the end of class.

My next recommendation would be to allow some time in your schedule for shenanigans! If the kiddos come in and they are bouncing off of the walls, then let them run around for a couple of minutes before starting class or even better, make it part of the context of class. One of the most amazing warm ups for kids that I have ever seen was "tabata tantrum." Kids spend 20 seconds jumping up and down, stomping their feet and swinging their arms, rest 10 seconds and then 20 seconds on their bellies (ala the traditional grocery store, cereal aisle tantrum) pounding and kicking the ground. Voila, the sillies are out, they had fun and learning is ready to happen. Remember that your ultimate goal is for them to have fun.

I hope that helps bud. Keep up the great work.
John Brown


wrote …

Todd, once again amazing stuff.


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Yeah that was great. We only have about 4 of them that the issue ever comes up, so that should help. We sometimes have included a shenanigans time slot, but it never really worked because there was no structure to it, and they were still bouncing off the walls after it was over. I like the Tabata Tantrum idea. So for that, you just literally let them go crazy for 20 seconds? Or do you have "exercises" like chest-pumping, arm swinging, and feet stomping?

Thanks for the help John.


wrote …

Excellent class Todd! Not many people can take a complex subject and break it down into a logical easy to understand process. Keep up the good work.


wrote …

Tabata tantrum might be the most fun and requested activity from the kids. Especially if you get in on it and show them a true tantrum..

I attended the Kids Cert in KOP last year w/ Todd and John and many of the cues have found their way into adult classes too..

I'll probably set a calender reminder to watch this every six months.. Its great to remember that you have years to train the movement patterns for the little ones.


Lauren Del Rosario wrote …

Great refresher! Admittedly I have a times come away from the fundamentals of good movement... Thanks, Todd!

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