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Action-packed Fitness Programs for Kids

Philadelphia Rock Gyms

(page 1 of 2)

Fitness classes that require kids to move their own body weight have gained momentum and popularity. For exercise or competition, kids can try CrossFit, parkour, American Ninja Warrior obstacle courses or rock climbing. Check out these new options for keeping your kids active. 


CrossFit includes a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercises and weight lifting. “The focus is to get them moving at first,” says Jeff Liebreich,co-owner of CrossFit South Philly. Kids’ CrossFit classes involve shorter, lower intensity workouts than in adult classes. After they master safe movements, kids progress to activities where they move objects.


Parkour practitioners aim to get from one point to another by running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping and rolling. “We take the concept of play and incorporate it with serious training techniques. Lessons follow a safe progression so kids won’t get hurt,” says Phil Pirollo co-founder of Pinnacle Parkour, in Cherry Hill, NJ.

“Some parents bring gamers in because they’re pretty inactive physically,” he notes. These kids enjoy how much parkour resembles their games in terms of the action.

Ninja warrior obstacle courses

Popularized by the TV show American Ninja Warrior, obstacle courses are “huge with kids,” says Mark Falcone, owner of iCore Fitness, an obstacle gym in West Chester, PA. iCore has replicated the obstacles from the show and offers kids’ programs based on functional movement exercises with some gymnastic components.

Rock climbing

“Rock climbing is a huge puzzle to solve with body and mind,” says Liz Pezzopane, director of youth programs at Philadelphia Rock Gyms, which has multiple locations in PA. The sport involves doing a lot of work with your body weight — pushing, pulling and balancing. It’s individually paced, with everyone working toward his own goal.

See page 2 for related health and safety info.

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