5 Fun Strengthening Exercises for Kids

How do you get your kid to eat broccoli? You drown it in melted cheese. How do you get them to be physically active instead of sitting in front of

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How do you get your kid to eat broccoli? You drown it in melted cheese. How do you get them to be physically active instead of sitting in front of the screen for an entire day? You make exercising fun!

If your child builds a habit of staying healthy and active early on, they won’t struggle with staying healthy and maintaining a normal weight when they grow up. But persuading them to leave their video games and exercise sometimes seems less likely than getting pigs to fly.

Well, lucky for you, there’s no need to stand there, scratching your head at what to do to make strength training fun because we’re here to help.

Let’s see how to get your kids to stay healthy and entertained at the same time! (It’s possible, believe it or not)

 5 Things to Consider Before Starting

Before we dive into the actual exercises, there are some things to keep in mind to make this a safe, enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

1.   Age Appropriateness

The key is adjusting the exercise to your child’s age and developmental stage. Younger kids will like movements that are basic, but very playful, while older kids can handle activities that are a bit more complex.

2.   Safety

This is something that can’t be overstated. Safety should be your priority, so make sure to supervise your child to prevent accidents and make sure they stick to proper form.

3.   Make it Fun

Keep things fun or you’re in for tantrums. Kids will participate in activities that are entertaining, so if you see them getting bored, tweak the exercise to make it more exciting or move on to something else.

4.   Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Don’t forget to include warm-up and cool-down in their sessions. Warming up prepares the body for physical activity, and cool-down prevents soreness.

5.   Positive Reinforcement

Your focus shouldn’t be just on their performance. Praise your child’s efforts because that will boost their confidence and motivate them to continue exercising.

 5 Fun Exercises

If you’re a parent, then you know that the first thing that pops to mind is to send the kids to kindergarten or have them play on the playground. And while those things will surely be positive toward your child’s development, we are here to look at something a bit more concrete.

Now it’s time to have some fun!

1.   Animal Walks

There are 3 different kinds of animal walks – bear walk, crab walk, and frog jumps.

For the bear walk, have your child walk on all fours with straight legs and arms. For crab walk, have them sit on the ground, place their hands behind, lift their hips, and walk on hands and feet.

To do frog jumps, have them squat down like a frog and then jump forward.

If they keep their form correct, there will be no problems with strains, which can happen especially on the wrists and shoulders. Another important thing is to keep a moderate pace for all of these exercises to prevent falls.

If you want to make it even more fun, create an obstacle course or, if you have two or more kids, have them race to see who reaches the finish line first.

2.   Balloon Squats

Your child should hold a balloon between their knees and then squat without letting the balloon fall.

For balloon squats, it’s really important that they keep their back straight and knees aligned with toes. Engaging the core muscles for stability is another important thing.

Balloon squats are really fun, but you can use different colored balloons for some variety, and you can play music and have them do squats to the rhythm. This is a really basic exercise, but with just a few little details, you’ll make your kid love it.

3.   Superhero Push-Ups

This is your basic push-up with a twist – your child should get into a push-up position, lower themselves, and then push back up while extending one arm forward like a superhero.

They should maintain a straight body line from head to heels and avoid letting the hips sag or raising them too high. You can have them pretend like they’re superheroes on a mission or count how many “superpowers” (push-ups) they can do to motivate them even further.

4.   Tug-of-War

This is an exercise that you and your child can do together. Get a sturdy rope and then either have your kids pull the rope against each other if there are two of them or if not, you can jump in instead.

The ground needs to be even and safe for this exercise to work, and the kid(s) should use proper grip and posture to prevent falls.

A soft surface like a mat or grass will make tug-of-war safer, and if you have more kids involved, you can create teams with fun names and team cheers.

5.   Olympic Lifting

This is a bit more serious and it’s a good option for older kids (aged 12 and up). These lifts are excellent for developing full-body strength, enhancing mobility & stability around the major joints, and improving coordination.

Olympic lifting is a fun, dynamic way to build strength. It will improve their athletic performance and it encourages discipline and focus through structured training.

Just make sure they use proper technique and that they start with lighter weights to prevent mishaps and injuries.

 FAQ

At what age can kids start strength training?

It depends on how mature they are and if they’re able to follow instructions or not. Generally speaking, 7 or 8 is a good age to start. Focus on bodyweight exercises and proper form rather than having them lift heavy weights or anything like that.

Supervision is very important to make whatever exercise they’re doing safe and prevent injuries.

How often should kids do strengthening exercises?

3 times a week is enough, and there should be at least one rest day between two sessions. Each training session can last between 20 and 30 minutes and it should include a variety of exercises that target major muscle groups.

 Conclusion

Exercising will seem like a piece of cake next to getting them to eat brussels sprouts and broccoli if you follow our advice. Remember, the key is in the details – music, different colored accessories, even cheering them on can do the trick and motivate them to keep going.

Today, with so many screens staring at their faces every day, it’s more important than ever to find ways to keep your kids physically active. You’ll do them a huge favor if you help them start living healthily at an early age and they’ll thank you for it later.

How do you keep your kids active? Do they like exercising or do they think of it as a chore? Do you think they understand the importance of staying active?

This is kids we’re talking about so, as any parent would know, any tips, tricks and shortcuts are more than welcome so please share them in the comment section!

References:

  1. Hyoung-Kil Park, Min-Kyung Jung, Eunkyung Park, Chang-Young Lee, Yong-Seok Jee, Denny Eun, Jun-Youl Cha, and Jaehyun Yoo “The effect of warm-ups with stretching on the isokinetic moments of collegiate men.” J Exerc Rehabil. 2018 Feb; 14(1): 78–82.
  2. Stacey Carter “Why it’s important to cool down after exercise, according to the science,” LiveScience, (accessed May 16th, 2024)

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