Functional Fitness Training for Kids: Keys to Consider
Functional fitness training is one of the most popular training methods today, thanks to its flexibility and diverse benefits. This training method is based on the idea of copying movements from daily life. It involves various different muscle groups and gets them working. The majority of people who do functional fitness training are over 18, but there are variations for kids as well.
It may be surprising to learn that functional fitness training exists for kids. If you’d like to learn more about this interesting training method, keep reading!
Functional fitness training for kids
Functional training stands out as a personalized training method, where the person can focus on their individual needs. Any training plan should be organized accordingly.
The key to success lies in some of the differences between this training method and other conventional methods or exercise machines. Generally, functional training just uses a person’s body or some handy items. There’s no need for specialized equipment.
Kids are at a crucial development stage where they’re sensitive to learning new skills. During this phase of their lives, it’s much easier for them to learn, and motor skills are no exception.
To help kids improve these essential skills, functional fitness training can be a great help. However, you should take the following points into account.
Keys to functional training for kids
This training method shouldn’t be done the same way as for adults. Why? It’s because children’s bone and muscle structures are still developing. With that in mind, the idea is to get them active, but not cause them to overexert themselves. To keep the right balance and to avoid overtraining, it’s important to make sure the intensity level is right for them.
Combine games with exercise
The attention spans of kids tend to be very short, especially if the activity doesn’t grab their attention. Even adults can become bored, but with kids, it’s much more noticeable.
With that in mind, the idea is to hold the child’s attention, and one of the best ways to do this is by means of a game. Combining the exercise of functional training with a role-playing game that fires their imagination and motivates them to keep going can be a very valuable tool.
Do the routine with them
One of the advantages of doing functional fitness training with kids is that the routine can be completely personalized. This doesn’t just have to do with keeping an eye on how they perform the exercises or the intensity. Rather, this can also help to increase their confidence levels.
If the trainer and the child have a bond of friendship, the training will be more fun and beneficial. One way to strengthen this relationship is if the instructor does the exercise routine with the child, no matter what exercise it might be.
Look for items to work with
The difference between conventional training and functional training is that the second one doesn’t need specialized machines or other equipment. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use other items in functional training. It all has to do with how the exercises are planned.
This is, even more, the case in functional fitness training for kids, where you can use items such as balls, ropes, cones, or other similar items. The idea is to fire their imagination and to get them to do different movements while they’re doing their routine.
Work as a group
Functional fitness training for kids is great because you can do it either on a one on one basis or in small groups. Both ways have their advantages. For instance, in a group setting, you can take advantage of the competition that usually exists between little kids.
For instance, when kids see another child doing an exercise well, they’ll try to imitate the other’s steps. This can be a great motivator. If you’re working with a group of kids, don’t forget to make the routine appropriate for all needs and levels, to avoid any injuries.
Functional fitness training for kids: don’t hold them back!
As we mentioned, kids are at a development stage where they need to experience different ways of learning motor skills and grow through experiencing the world around them. In that sense, functional fitness training can be very beneficial for kids, as long as they’re supervised by a professional of course.
To finish up, one last tip. It’s a good idea to do several training sessions while the parents are also present. This can help the kids to lose any separation anxiety they may feel from an early age, and help them to overcome their fears. Of course, you can do this gradually, without limiting the child’s progress.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Avaria Benapres, M. de los A. (1999). Desarrollo psicomotor. Rev. Chil. Pediatr.