Exercises for kids

Exercises for kids: Equipment needed & 26 Stretching Exercises

Alice Taylor Exercises for kids

Exercises for kids: Equipment needed & 26 Stretching Exercises

Exercises for kids
Exercises for kids

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What exercise is best for your child? The answer is whatever exercise they like best.

Favorite physical activities might be part of the school setting during extracurricular activities, or they might be played at home where parents and/or grandparents can take part as leaders and coaches.

It is important for adults to play an accepting and encouraging role in to lead kids to a healthier lifestyle.

In this article, For kids will illustrate many different types of exercises for kids and how to perform it in a simple way.

These exercises for kids can be used in kids fitness classes, kids fitness camps, birthday parties, and in-school sessions. 

Some may seem silly or too easy to adults. But remember: These exercises are for small kids; they are designed for their muscles, skill level, and coordination.

Why These Exercises Were Chosen?

When it comes to fitness, children are not miniature adults. Children have specific physiologic differences that make them unique.

Therefore, their fitness programs, exercises, and activities must be specific to their developmental stage and not just a watered-down version of an adult’s.

For example, children of this age do not need exercises for building tight abdominal muscles or increasing the size of their biceps.

The exercises in this article were chosen because they are safe for most kids.

They were also chosen because they challenge children’s minds and bodies in fun and creative ways.

These challenge children’s muscular and cardiovascular strength and endurance.

You can turn these exercises into playful competitions and/or challenges.

Playful competition challenges kids to work harder against themselves or other players.

It also involves skill development, increases focus, and challenges kids to think smarter by developing creative strategies and tactics for succeeding.

General rules of training

1- Safety Comes First

Safety should be a number-one concern when exercising

2- Start with warm up

Prior to doing any of the following exercises, you should have participants do exercises that gradually elevate body temperature, heart rate, and loosen muscles for the workout ahead.

3- Increase exercises gradually

Over time, gradually increase the amount of time the children exercise.

4- Perform each exercise slowly

When children are learning a new exercise or, perhaps, coming back from an illness, it is important to perform each exercise slowly.

When they perform an exercise too quickly, they are using momentum and not muscle strength.

By taking an exercise slowly, children are less likely to experience injury, too.

5- Do stretching exercises every day

Teach children to ease into each stretch slowly until they feel the muscles and connective tissues being stretched.

They should then hold the stretch and breathe. Hold each stretch for a slow count of 15.

6- Vary the exercises for kids

To avoid boredom and to challenge the body, change the exercises every four weeks.

7- Proper alignment

Show the children the proper alignment for each stretching exercise including:

  • maintaining a neutral alignment with the spine,
  • keeping the belly button pulled back toward your spine, and
  • keeping the head aligned with the spine.

Remind all participants to breathe throughout each exercise.

Recommended Fitness Equipment for Kids

exercise equipment for kids
exercise equipment for kids

– Jump ropes

– Tennis racquets

– Yoga mats

– Exercise balls

– Cones

– Golf clubs

– Towels

– Free weights

– Tubes

26 Stretching and Flexibility Exercises For Kids

At this young age, children are flexible. But even with their flexibility, it is extremely important to warm up the muscles they will be using before any exercise.

Stretching reduces the chances of injury and establishes a good foundation before any physical activity.

1- Neck Stretch

Tell the kids: Sit or stand with your chin slightly tucked to your chest.

Turn your head slowly to bring your chin to one shoulder, hold for three seconds, and then turn to the other shoulder.

Repeat 5 times and breathe throughout.

2- Shoulder Rolls

Tell the kids: Rotate your shoulders as big as you can 5 times in one direction.

Then reverse the direction of the rolls and rotate your shoulders 5 times.

3- Shoulder-Blade Roll

Tell the children: With your elbows bent behind your body, roll your shoulders back until the shoulder blades come as close together as possible.

Press shoulder blades together for 5 breaths. Repeat this 10 times.

4- Arm Circles

Tell the children: Stretch your arms out to your sides at shoulder height.

Begin circling the arms in one direction 10 times and then reverse directions for 10 times.

Create both big and small circles.

5- Hug Yourself

Tell the kids: Wrap your arms around your body and give yourself a big hug. This is great to do every day!

6- Shoulder Shrugs

Tell the children: Inhale and lift your shoulders up toward your ears.

Exhale and slowly lower your shoulders back down.

Repeat 10 times and then alternate shoulders, raising one at a time.

7- Superman Stretch

Tell the children: In a standing position, place your hands on your hips and pull your shoulders back as far as they will go.

Keeping your shoulders pressed down, you should feel a stretch in your chest.

Hold this stretch for 15 seconds.

8- Fold Yourself in Half

Tell the kids: From a standing position, bend forward and try to touch your
toes. You will feel this stretch in the back of your legs. Hold this stretch for
15 seconds.

9- Cat and Cow

Tell the children: Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend forward and place hands right above your knees.

Round your back upward toward the sky and pull your belly button in toward your spine.

Count to 15 and release, letting your body sag slightly to stretch in the opposite direction.

10- Overhead

Tell the children: In a standing position, extend your arms up and over your head, holding your hands together.

Hold this stretch for 15 seconds.

11- Back Stretch

Tell the children: Beginning in a standing position, slowly roll your back down from the bottom to the top of your spine all the way until you reach your tailbone.

Hold this position for 15 seconds, allowing your arms to hang.

Then slowly roll back up into a standing position.

12- Butterfly Wings

Tell the toddlers: Sitting on the floor with your knees together, place both hands around your ankles.

Slowly lower your knees out to the sides as far as they can go and hold the position for 15 seconds.

As you breathe, slowly bring your knees back together.

13- Smell Your Stinky Toes

Tell the children: In a seated position with knees pointing out to each side, bring the bottoms of your feet together.

Hold both feet with your hands and lean over from the waist, trying to touch your nose to your toes.

Hold and breathe. Repeat 5 times.

14- Knee to Chest

Tell the children: Lie on your back with both feet flat on the floor.

Bring your left knee into your chest and give it a hug.

Hold, breathe, and count to 15. Return that leg to the floor and repeat the stretch with the other leg.

15- Walk on Heels

This is a great exercise for stretching the calf muscle and for balance.
Tell the children: Begin walking on the heels of your feet. Walk this way for 30 seconds.

16- Walk on Toes

Tell the kids: In a standing position, raise yourself up onto your toes, heels lifted off the floor, and walk around for 30 seconds.

17- Ankle Circles

* Props: A chair or a mat for each participant

Tell the children: Sit on a chair or lie on your back on the floor. Bring your right knee up toward your chest.

Circle the ankle to the right and then to the left.

Lower this leg and repeat the movement with the other ankle.

18- Swan Stretch

Tell the kids: Kneel on the ground and sit back on your heels, keeping your back straight.

Lean back, bringing your arms forward to help with balance. Hold
this position.

Now reverse the position by bringing your upper body forward and extending your arms straight out behind your back.

Hold and breathe.

19- Inner-Thigh Stretch

Tell the children: Stand with your feet about 2–3 feet apart and toes facing forward.

Bend your left knee, making sure your left knee doesn’t move forward beyond your left toes.

Rotate your pelvis slightly to the left to increase the stretch of your right inner thigh.

Feel the stretch in the inner thigh and hold it for 15 seconds. Then switch legs and repeat.

20- Upright-Spine Twists

* Props: A chair or a mat for each participant

Tell the kids: This twist is done in a seated position with your spine lengthened.

Keeping your hips straight ahead and your arms folded across your chest, rotate your shoulder back as far as you can without moving your hips; allow your head to follow.

Breathe and hold for 15 seconds. Return to the center and take 5 deep breaths.

Rotate to your left side, breathe, and hold.

Repeat sequence 3 times.

21- Spinal Twists

Tell the kids: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, your feet flat on the floor, and your knees together.

Slowly drop your knees to your left side, keeping your shoulders on the floor.

Hold this for 15 seconds and then bring your knees back to center.

Slowly drop your knees to your right side, breathe, and hold for 15 seconds.

22- Full-Body Stretch

Tell the kids: This is a great stretch to do before you jump out of bed in the morning.

Lie on your back with legs long.

Stretch both arms overhead for 15 seconds.

Pretend as if someone is pulling your arms in one direction and your feet in the opposite direction.

23- Quadriceps Stretch

* Props: A wall or a chair for each participant

Tell the children: In a standing position, hold on to a wall or chair with your left arm, grab your right ankle, and bring your heel toward your bottom.

Hold the stretch in the front of the thigh for 15 seconds.

Repeat this stretch using your other leg and arm.

24- Chest Stretch

The following stretch is done with the help of a partner.

* Divide the group into pairs or have the players choose partners.

Tell the children: Partners stand facing away from each other with the same foot forward and the same foot back.

Extend arms behind your bodies and grab onto each other’s hands.

Breathe and bend your front knee forward slightly to lean away from each other.

Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times.

25- Straddle Stretch

The following stretch is done with the help of a partner.

* Divide the group into pairs or have the players choose partners.

Tell the youngsters: Work in pairs. Sit facing your partner with your legs spread apart in a straddle position.

Lean forward to grab each other’s hands.

Have your partner place his feet on the inside of your leg.

Lean back to pull your partner forward, bending so his arms are straight.

Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times. Then switch roles.

26- Supported Cat

Also, the following stretch is done with the help of a partner.

* Divide the group into pairs or have the players choose partners.

Tell the children: Work in pairs. Have one partner start on all fours.

The other partner stands, with his legs straddling the first player’s legs.

The standing partner then places his hands under the other player’s waist, who then rounds her back upward, and lowers her head, letting the standing partner pull her up a little more.

Hold the position for 15 seconds; repeat 3 times.

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