CrossFit for kids focuses on fun

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- More than one-third of American children are overweight or obesity, and childhood obesity can lead to more severe health problems as an adult. In attempts to tackle childhood obesity, the popular CrossFit fitness program is crossing over to reach children.

Instead of adults working out with kettle bells and weighted balls, now kids want to do it too. A few months ago, Rob Traband's 11-year-old son expressed interest in CrossFit.

"I have to say I was a little reluctant at first because I've heard of adults going to CrossFit," Rob Traband said.

But he learned quickly that he didn't have to worry when his son Will wanted to start working out.

"It actually gets him involved in different physical activities in a really positive way for kids," Traband said.

At a typical CrossFit for kids workout there are burpees, squats, and planks involved. But P3 CrossFit coaches create workouts and games like Hungry, Hungry Hippo or Farmers and Lumberjacks to make the classes kid-friendly and effective.

"The intensity here is a lot different for kids than it is for adults. We don't push them the way we push adults. We work on form before we ever put weights in their hands," said CrossFit coach Kristy Lopez. "We care if they squat well, but that's not my main priority. Really, I want to see that they build team work, encourage each other, build self-confidence, perseverance, schedule long-term goals."

Will Traband says it can be hard work!

"I feel like the good kind of tired. Like after you've done a big thing that makes you feel proud of yourself - that's how I always feel," Will said.

Lopez says another benefit of Kids CrossFit is that they perform better on their homework.

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