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Woodford Times - Peoria, IL
  • CrossFit Kids offers exercise programs for youth

  • EAST PEORIA — A new program seeks to get children enthusiastic about working out.

    CrossFit Kids, a twice-per-week unit at CrossFit East Peoria, seeks to battle the growing global obesity issue among young people.
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  • EAST PEORIA — A new program seeks to get children enthusiastic about working out.
    CrossFit Kids, a twice-per-week unit at CrossFit East Peoria, seeks to battle the growing global obesity issue among young people.
    “The idea is getting kids motivated and interested in being really active,” said CrossFit East Peoria co-owner Patty Atherton.
    Ages 7 and older are in one group and 6 and younger are in another for the Wednesday night and Saturday morning 30-minute program at the facility located at 200 Globe St. in East Peoria.
    All sessions are scalable with age-appropriate tasks. Participants ages 3 through 12, for instance, never add weight except in the form of wall balls and light tools.
    The aim of CrossFit, which was founded by Greg Glassman, is to “forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness,” according to www.crossfit.com. 
    Workouts are designed to improve physical competency in 10 fitness areas: cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.
    Everyone in CrossFit Kids starts with a dynamic stretch and warm up.
    Some of the components of the workout may include: tire flips, box jumps, chin-ups and a short-distance run.
    The set of activities varies from one time to the next.
    “It’s always different,” Atherton said. “I’ve never done the same workout and probably won’t.”
    Apples and oranges are served at the cool-down period. Nutrition also is stressed as part of the CrossFit philosophy.
    “It goes really fast. We definitely do a lot,” said Atherton, who operates the business with co-owner Bryndy Sheets.
    Older kids may engage in a run of 100 meters instead of 50 or do a scalable pull-up with bands rather than a chin-up.
    There is a limit of 20 people per class. The program began in May after Atherton was certified. A second class may have to be added.
    “We want to make sure kids get individual attention,” she said.
    With adaptable workouts and manageable movements,  CrossFit Kids can be tailored and is inclusive to a broad range of individuals —from an experienced athlete to a less-active newcomer.
    Page 2 of 2 - CrossFit Kids is the primary strength and conditioning program in home-school situations and there is a specific curriculum available for physical-education classes.
    It also is used in the offseason by athletic teams such as football, soccer and lacrosse, as well as martial arts schools.
    “We get them excited about moving and feeling like they are accomplishing something,” said Atherton.
    She is hoping to join a competitive league in the fall in which the East Peoria gym would compete against teams from across the country.
    A trainer overlooks the one-hour workout and results are recorded on a website from October through March.
    CrossFit East Peoria opened Jan. 7 and is already nearing its one-year goal of 100 members.
    “It’s amazing. We’ve been very blessed,” said Atherton.
    For more information, contact CrossFit East Peoria at 966-2072.

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