Street Fit

Street fit is a functional training out on the asphalt. With street fit we strengthen our muscles and get our pulse up with fun games and exercises. We use our own body as a ballast in different ways that result in strengthening of the whole body. We work physically with balance, endurance, fitness and strength.

Structure of a Street Fit Training

A typical street fit practice lasts an hour and is run by a minimum of two Playmakers. The typical practice is built up around the following elements.

• Warm up & energizer
• Technique
• WOD (Workout Of the Day)
• Stretching Out & Cooling Down (with a recap and evaluation of the day)

When you are putting together a practice for out in the zone, the above structure is a good one to follow. But remember, of course, the most important things: that the body is used physically and that the kids have fun.

Warm up & Energizer

During warm up, the focus is on warming up the muscle groups that will be used during the training. Especially if there is a focus on some muscle groups, it is important that these are ready to go before starting the workout. For example, it may be that there are many games or exercises with the shoulders – in this case it is important that the shoulders are warm and loose prior to beginning the workout. As an example, warming up the shoulders can be done with some swinging of the arms or some games like walking with a wheelbarrow.
We recommend including a game or two in the warm-up, as it helps create a fun atmosphere.

Technique

When we speak about technique, we emphasize that it is important that the kids are doing the exercises correctly. Be sure to teach them how to do a proper squat, a proper push-up, and sit-up, etc. Try also to have some differentiation depending on the level and experience of the kids that are attending: if they are experienced, doing things correctly, and learning quickly, then challenge them with more. If there are beginners, be sure that the exercise is done safely and carefully; keep it simple and with some focus points.

WOD (Workout Of the Day)

While it is important to make the zone practice fun, during the WOD is where you can begin to focus less on only playing games and a bit more on doing a physical workout and teaching the kids how to discover the strength in their bodies.There are different structures that can be used for this part: AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible), EMOM (Every Minute, On the Minute), TABATA (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off), Metcon (Circle Training), etc. Samples of these different methods can be found in the Drill Box.

You are free to arrange the difference exercises in a structure that you think works. However, you should take into account which muscle groups are used for the different exercises and in which order. Is the plan for today just to do a clean WOD for shoulders? Should there be dozens of exercises for backbone muscles right after each other, or would it be smart to put a stomach exercise between them? Which kids have shown up for practice today – and are they fit enough and ready to do the workout you have planned? How can the exercises be scaled down if you can see it is too difficult for them?

Stretching Out & Cooling Down (with a recap & evaluation)

The last part of the training can be a form of stretching, or a cooldown game – a game with less physical activity where once again the focus is less on moving the body in a physically demanding way, but more about loosening up the muscles and putting a smile on the faces of the participants.If you stretch out, remember to focus specifically on the muscle groups that have been used during the day’s workout. This is also a good time to praise the participants for a job well-done and to highlight the things that they have been particularly good at. If they are regulars who participate in many sessions, this can help to give them a sense of progress and perhaps increase their motivation. Remember to evaluate your own training. You can ask the kids what parts of the training they liked best; what was hardest; was anything too hard or too boring, etc. We’ll only get smarter if we get to know what we can do better.You can end with high fives all around, thanks for a good practice, and see you next time!

Progression and differentiation

In order to make and keep your street fit practices fun and exciting, progression for the individual is important and therefore, the training and teaching must be differentiated. In street fit, differentiation creates variations in the individual exercise and in the practice as a whole, making it quite versatile. You can do this by dividing participants up into smaller groups – for example by age, or strength, etc. and adapting the exercises to the specific group. As a playmaker you can create progression (progress or development) by adjusting the exercises. You can change the time or pace (the slower, the harder), change the weight (the more weight, the harder) and you can change the number of repetitions (the more repetitions, the harder). If you need inspiration or insight into exercises, the (free) “KOMPAN sport and fitness app” could be a good place to visit.

Drills

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GAME Academy is a free, online, educational platform for Playmakers, other volunteers and all those who want to use street sports to empower young people. It was co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union as a part of the Youth-Led Street Sport For All project.

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