Kids and the Functional Movement Industry

Kids and the functional movement industry — is this a craze we should encourage?

If you want your children to succeed, start them at a young age.

Beyond developing sport specific skills such as kicking, throwing, swinging — improving strength is key to improving overall performance.

I can hear the objections coming from a mile away. Remarks such as how children shouldn’t be lifting weights for fear it will stunt their growth, development cycles will be affected and it will lead to dangers in growth plates. However, comments like these demonstrate a lack of understanding. Children participating in these training sessions are not lifting Olympic weights and often when injuries do occur, it comes down to poor technique, poor monitoring and poor coaching which can impact a person of any age.

I attended a youth series event run by the functional fitness company Again Faster AU/NZ recently and if I’m being honest, it outweighed my expectations. With influential Australian elite athletes running the day, the children participating were in great hands. The focus of the day was technique, ensuring all children had an in-depth understanding of what would be required to complete the set movements. These are the basic understandings that children require to partake in such an intense sport. At then end of the day, all children partaking in functional movement exercises should be required to undergo formal technique training prior to classes commencing.

Furthermore, schedules of children taking part in intense sporting activities need to be taken into consideration. Early mornings, school, homework and extra curricular activities, on top of functional movement classes, is a lot for a child to undertake. Therefore, monitoring their wellness and their ability to cope with school workloads and sporting commitments needs to be considered. SMG technologies’ Baseline and FitBox products account for these considerations, aggregating data from various metrics to identify whether children have recovered from previous training sessions. Training loads, wellness measures and performance outcomes amongst other things allow coaches to monitor their responses and act accordingly.

The importance of logging and tracking performances completed by children participating in functional movement exercises, in particular, is unparalleled.

FitBox, allows box owners, coaches, and children participating in functional movement activities to know exactly what has been completed and how balanced workouts are.

This knowledge can lead to an improvement in future programming. The coaching staff will now be accountable for the movements they include, ensuring the safety of not only children but all members. Monitoring performances, along with the various wellness metrics in the FitBox platform create the “bigger picture”. Potentially leading to decreases in the overall onset of injuries at a young age, with an overall aim of improving performances and recovery modalities.

Lastly, the concept of functional movement creates a little healthy competition. And a little healthy competition never hurt anyone.

This new form of fitness outweighs sitting at home in front of the TV with a packet of chips after school. Functional movement for kids is not all about lifting weights like many assume. It is about education and highlighting the importance of health and fitness over a life cycle. In a society where obesity is becoming the norm, the functional movement for kids aims to break this growing trend. Providing performances are logged, tracked and monitored appropriately, we should be encouraging this movement, rather than tearing it down.

Naomi Wallis

Product Manager

Naomi speaks all things functional movement. She loves it so much, she adopted it into her daily fitness routine. To say sport was ingrained in Naomi is an understatement.

In fact, she loved it so much, she went on to study sports science at university and has worked for some of the best NRL teams in the country.

Her world is revolved around the sport and she brings this enthusiasm to the table every single day.