When most parents think about exercise for their kids, they tend to think of playgrounds and maybe a little T-ball. But the latest trend is cross-training for kids. 

Intense classes for all ages that mix in a variety of exercises, including push-ups, crunches, sprints, squats with kettle bells, and even weightlifting. But is all that exercise healthy for growing bodies? A lot of experts say yes!  

They point out that one-third of kids are overweight or obese. And school gym classes and after-school sports are being dropped left and right because of budget cuts. So, an increasing number of parents are turning to gyms and community centers to find exercise classes for their kids. 

And experts say it’s safe for kids to cross-train, as long as the coaches assess each kid’s abilities before they start. 

One new program is called CrossFit Kids, which was developed by former personal trainer Greg Glassman. He discovered that people of all ages improved their fitness faster if they did a constantly-rotating group of exercises – at high speed. In fact, his CrossFit program was so popular, he ended up training the entire Santa Cruz Police Force. 

For the kids’ program, he emphasizes agility, stamina and coordination. Classes for preschoolers last 20 minutes, and focus on things like somersaults, and hopping-and-running games. The tweens work out for 40 minutes, which includes sit-ups, pushups, and sprints. And teen classes include things like rope climbing, and weight training. 

And because every class is different, the kids say they have a blast. 

If you’d like to give cross-training a try – the websites are Cross Fit Kids and CrossFit.com.