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Soccer Flexibility Basics

Posted by Shirley Brown : Thursday, Aug 30, 2012

As an athlete your body is your machine, which means is must be treated as such. With proper fuel, strengthening, conditioning and stretching you will perform and feel your best. We recommend that you do these stretches daily, and if that's not possible, do them as often as possible. Do them while watching TV or right before bed.

**Hold all stretches 20-30 seconds**

Standing Quadriceps Stretch
1. Standing one leg, grab your opposite ankle and pull your heel into your buttocks.
2. Your bent knee should stay parallel with your standing leg rather then being pulled behind.
3. Push your hips out to increase the stretch and remember not to grab the ankle joint.
4. Repeat for the opposite side.

Sitting Groin Stretch
1. Sit with knees bent at 90 degrees.
2. Place the soles of your feet together to 'splay' your knees outwards.
3. Gently use your hands or elbows to push your knees downwards.

Standing Calf Stretch
1. Using a wall or bar to support you, place one leg outstretched behind you.
2. Keeping the other leg bent lean against the wall to apply pressure to your beg leg.
3. Make sure you keep your back heel flat on the ground.
4. Repeat for the opposite side.

Lying Piriformis stretch
1. Lie down face up, bend one knee and raise the other leg (the side to be stretch) and place the ankle of this leg on the bent knee.
2. Now loop your hands round the thigh of the bent leg, keep your head and shoulders on the ground.
3. Slowly pull the bent leg in towards you so that you feel the stretch in the hip of the leg that is crossed over and the stretch.
4. Repeat for the opposite side.

Our soccer girls logging their wod

Today's Skill
Kettle Bell Sumo deadlift high pull

Today's Prodigy Workout
“Sumo Half Cindy”
AMRAP 10min
5 pull ups
10 push ups

Today's Weightlifting
Front Squat

Nutrition Basics for Teen Athletes

Posted by Shirley Brown : Thursday, Aug 23, 2012

By Danette Rivera

Competing and performing at your athletic best is more than just a matter of training, practice and "keeping in shape." Your body needs support in the form of proper nutrition, hydration, and rest in order to keep performing at peak levels.

When you train at a high level, food becomes fuel. You’re not only trying to perform at your best, but as a teen you are still growing and your schedule is probably jammed with many other things like school, homework, training, competing, friends, clubs, work, and family so proper nutrition is so important to not only perform at your best but feel your best, too. A teen athlete needs between 2,000-4,000 calories, and these calories should mainly come from healthy sources. Too few calories will cause your performance to suffer, and for girls, it can negatively impact your hormone balance, leading to long-term consequences on bone health.

So, what should you eat?

Fruits, vegetables, and grains are dietary staples. They should make up three-fourths of every meal. These foods provide carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are your primary fuel source when you're working hard at practice, and you only have a very limited supply of these carbohydrate fuel reserves in your body. That means you need to replace on a daily basis what you use up during exercise. If you don't, you'll be dragging at every practice and workout, and failing to deliver during competitions. These foods are also storehouses for essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Consume 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day:
• Fruits include apples, bananas, oranges, tangerines, berries, melons, and so on. Whole fruits are preferred over fruit juice. Fresh always beats canned. Frozen is next best after fresh.
• Vegetables include carrots, celery, lettuce, salads, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans, peas, corn, and so on. Again, fresh is best. Try to eat vegetables raw as often as possible. Steamed or roasted with a little crunch is next best. Big salads with a variety of veggies with beans or added chicken makes a great meal.
• When it comes to grains, choose them whole when you can: oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, and whole grain or sprouted bread are great sources.

Protein foods should make up the other fourth of your meals. Healthy protein foods are lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, eggs, beans, and tofu. Protein foods provide amino acids, which are the building blocks your body uses to make all kinds of different proteins, including muscle tissue. Protein foods are also good sources of iron, which is an important mineral you need to maintain your energy level. A good, practical way to get healthy protein sources is to bring a couple of sandwiches to school to eat during breaks and at lunchtime. Peanut butter and sugar-free jam, chicken, tuna, and turkey sandwiches, fresh cut veggies all fit the bill. Keep fresh fruit or Clif or Luna bars in your athletic bag. A bag of nuts with dried fruit also makes for a good snack, and the fats in nuts are particularly healthful.

We are not big on dairy, adding some yogurt to your diet can help with digestive health. Some string cheese or cottage cheese as a snack can give you extra needed calcium and Vit D.

Fat is a great source of muscle fuel. Try to steer clear of the unhealthy versions. Fast food, processed snack foods, fried foods are all examples of unhealthy forms of fat with little nutritional value. Long-term, when consumed in excess, these fat sources can be harmful to the heart. Healthy fats are found in fish, such as salmon; and a variety of plant sources, such as nuts, avocados, and vegetable oils like canola, coconut, and olive oil.

The single largest contributor to fatigue during exercise in high school athletes is dehydration. Dehydration can also lead to serious adverse health consequences. Your muscles generate heat during exercise, and sweating helps to cool you off. Sweat is primarily composed of water and dissolved minerals known as electrolytes. Thirst during exercise doesn't kick in until well after you're dehydrated and your performance is already suffering the consequences. Fortunately, dehydration can be avoided, but you need to hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Water is always your best bet. Coconut water is naturally filled with electrolytes. Gatorade has electrolytes, but it is also filled with sugar and not always the best option. You should avoid energy and caffeine drinks. These will give you a boost at first, but you’ll end up dehydrated, full of sugar, and less energized than they started.

Being an elite athlete is not just about training. Nutrition, rest, and stretching play just as much a part in becoming the best athlete you can be.

Here a great resource for healthy recipes:
Here are some good ideas for healthy snacks:

Green Strawberry-Banana Shake
8oz of orange juice
handful of spinach
4-5 strawberries, fresh is best; frozen ok
6-8 ice cubes
One ripe banana
Put all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.

Smoothie prep

Today's Skill

Today's Prodigy Workout
AMRAP 12min
250m row
10 Floor DB bench press
10 Goblet squats

Today's Weightlifting
Push Press

Breaking the Glass Hurdle: Women’s Firsts in the 2012 Olympics

Posted by Shirley Brown : Thursday, Aug 02, 2012

By Danette Rivera

Baron Pierre de Coubertin triumphantly revived the modern-day Olympics in 1896 declaring, “All sports must be treated on the basis of equality.”1 As to why women weren’t allowed to compete in these first Games, de Coubertin explained that allowing women is “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and incorrect." I guess he didn’t mean equality equality. Even the ancient Olympic Games added the Heraea Games in 6 BC for women athletes to compete in honor of goddess Hera. This is not to say that the ancient Games were equal, but did we really have to start from scratch 2,300 years later, Pierre?

We were first allowed to compete in the 1900 Olympic Games in tennis and golf wearing long gowns. We wore long, wool garments when we were allowed to compete in swimming in 1912. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was possibly trying to drown us rather than keep us decent. In 1928, women competed in track and field events for the first time, but “because of the exhausted condition of some of the women at the end of the 800 meter final, [women’s track & field] was dropped from the Olympic program until 1960.”2 God forbid we should breathe hard and sweat at the end of competition.

We’ve been tossed sports throughout the years ever since. The latest being: the introduction of women’s shooting events and the marathon in 1984, and then women’s judo in 1992. We couldn’t compete in Olympic weightlifting or the hammer throw (yes, this is still a sport) until 2000. 2012 marks the first year women will compete in boxing at the Olympic level.

Read full article here

As we celebrate the thirtieth Olympic Games, we are still setting significant milestones for women in the Olympics. One hundred and sixteen years after the Games’ modern-day revival, we are still fighting to prove our legitimacy as athletes at every level.

Olympic Hopeful? Possibly

Today's Skill
Toes to Bar

Today's Prodigy Workout
AMRAP 10min
5 Toes to Bar
7 Box Push Ups
9 Box Jumps

Today's Weightlifting

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