|Coordination, agility, balance and accuracy are four general physical skills that are improved through practice which results in changes in the nervous system.
The benefit of training in these areas is an increased ability to control one’s body
Muscle memory, achieved through repetition of movement, is a predominate feature of this type of training, as the demands for increased neuromuscular control contribute to positive adaptations.
“Quite simply, the more you stimulate your nervous system, the better your brain is able to communicate with your musculoskeletal system” providing for marked improvements in each of these areas. There is no age at which these skills are superfluous.
CrossFit Kids seeks to develop body control early in life
This prepares our children for the challenges they will face in sport, play and (eventually) work.
The first of these, coordination, refers to “the ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement”. The practical applications of this are infinite. From the cradle to the grave, daily life is filled with tasks that require the consolidation of a series of physical movements into a singular action. We often speak in terms of our children being “gifted” with coordination (or not). In spite of popular opinion, we have found coordination can be trained into an individual.
We take every opportunity to improve coordination levels and increase confidence in even our most awkward children. The gains we have seen made by our CrossFit Kids are phenomenal. Repetition is our greatest ally in enhancing coordination. For example, a lift move, performed in X-number of reps for X-number of sets, naturally begins to develop a competence for that move.
Regular practice at handstands trains the body to recognize and apply the force and muscle activation required to invert oneself and remain in place. The same can be said for an unlimited number of physical demands that become easier to perform with repetition. The body’s capacity to adopt most any movement as “second nature” inherently increases coordination.
One invaluable tool in the quest for improved coordination is gymnastics training
Here we encounter any number of movements that test an individual’s capacity to “multi-task” on a physical level.
Take, for example, the push up. At once, a child is required to properly place and balance on the hands, tighten the abdominal muscles, avoid a sag or lift of the rear-end in order to maintain a solid plank position, bend at the elbows, lower the body, avoid falling to the floor, and then fluidly push back into the upward position.
One push up, multiple considerations, and an eventual marked increase in coordination. These most basic movements go a long way toward improvement and create a learning base for the more complex gymnastics skills that require and develop increasingly greater levels of coordination.
Coordination refers to your ability to use your body in several ways at once
A good example of coordination can be found on the swings at your school’s playground. Imagine yourself seated in the swing. Now think about what you must do in order to make the swing move. You begin by leaning your chest forward.
At the same time, bend your legs back and pump your arms. Immediately begin your backward movement. Lean back in the swing, throw your legs out in front of you and pull the chains back with both hands. Now, lean forward again, bend your legs back, pump your arms. And so on you go until you’ve gained enough back and forth momentum to get that “flying” feeling that makes you love to swing.
Remember how long it took you to be able to perform all those movements together? The day when you finally didn’t have to ask your mom or dad to push you on the swing? That day happened because, after a great deal of practice, you were finally able to move your body in several ways at once. In other words, your coordination improved.