What is Sonic Athletics?
At Sonic we develop proper body mechanics and movement patterns to encourage youth to become strong physical selves. Sonic members come from all kinds of backgrounds ranging from athletic to no training at all. Every Sonic benefits from the functional foundation and capacity developed across the following ten general physical skills we vary in our classes:
Development of these physical skills can result in fewer injuries and better movement patterns for life. Additional elements encourage bone density development, cross body movements and exercises that develop the vestibular system. Check out our blog article on Physical Literacy to learn more about these skills and why keeping them in balance is important in developing children.
Is it like an adult gym?
NOT AT ALL. All our classes are led by a coach and just like most sports and really like all sports should be, the work we do at Sonic is developmentally adjusted for kids. We do use weights in our middle and high school class but you will never see any kid in our gym lifting a maximum weight. We keep everything at an age appropriate strength level.
My child has weak core strength, can Sonic help?
This is a very common question and a hot topic in the media as recess and PE are continually reduced. Yes, Sonic can absolutely help and I think is an incredible solution to modern day life. Many kids sit in cars and school just as much as adults now and are not getting the movement they need for healthy day to day life. We, as humans, are designed to move. The hips and core are the center of the body and movement and strength radiate from there out. We look at the body in a functional way so a lot of core work is disguised. Some examples include carrying items overhead and stabilizing on rings. Yes we do some sit-ups but it never looks like 10 minute abs.
What is the coaching style at Sonic?
Our philosophy as coaches is to assist kids in the discovery of movement and health as opposed to forced compliance or a rigid program. We are highly respectful of every child that comes in our gym and encourage all kids to work at their appropriate level. We are able to adjust all these skills to adequately challenge each student in class. We strive to be positive role models and love listening to what your kids bring to our gym. It is an absolute joy for us.
Is it safe for kids to lift weights?
Yes, in fact it is great for them when done with proper supervision. Children's bodies do not grow from lifting weights the way adults do. In general with our younger athletes we stick to getting their form and movement right at body weight. When we use weight with younger athletes it is mostly focused on improving core strength.
We are in no rush to lift weights and do not really focus on increasing weights until late into our middle school and our high school program. We follow the principles of Mechanics First -> Consistency Over Time -> Small Incremental Increases in Intensity. We are able to do this by having appropriate weights for children so that these small increments can be made. We take a long term perspective on lifting weights. We are not a program to elicit short term goals to help a child make the cut in 6-8 weeks.
Please refer to the following current information on the subject of kids and weight training.
Pediatrics, Volume 121, Number 4,
Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 33:547-561,
2008 policy statement of Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Articles by Dr. Avery Faigenbaum, a leading professor on pediatric exercise science
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, August; 23(5): 560-579,
What kind of gymnastics skills do you teach?
We use gymnastics for body awareness and fitness. We are not a stand alone gymnastics facility. Many kids come in with great gymnastics skills and we are able to challenge them in other areas of our 10 general physical skills. We teach the arch and hollow body position, ring skills (including inversions and muscle ups), forward rolls, headstands and handstands (including handstand pushups and handstand walks). We are able to adjust all these skills to adequately challenge each student in class using progressions.
Why we encourage drop-in classes over a weekly scheduled class?
We want you to be here without feeling scheduled. Kids need to be moving everyday and we want to be available as an option for that more than once a week. We see kids really thriving when they come 2-3x a week. Our drop-ins make this possible for all of our busy lives. We encourage you to have conversations at home about when your children will get their exercise in this week and talk about planing how this fits into their weekly schedule. We believe the long-term impact of these conversations will set your children up for lifelong healthy habits.