Liz Morrison, LCSW
Workouts For Kids at Home To Keep Them Active and Moving
With constant distractions of phones, social media, and video games, home can be a tough place to motivate your child to be active and moving. Bonita Porte, owner of Energetic Juniors in NYC, recently shared with me some workouts for kids at home that will keep them occupied and engaged on those days when they’re cooped up inside.
Best of all, the workouts are so much fun, kids won’t even know they’re working out and are actually gaining powerful benefits, just by staying active.
Here we go!
Lie down in a sit-up position with pillows by your side and a laundry basket a few feet away. On the cue of “1,2,3 Shoot off!”, sit up and toss the pillow into the laundry basket.
After the toss, lie back down and get ready for the next cue. Sit back up, throw again and try and get the pillow in the basket. See how many you get! To really make it fun try mixing it up with laundry or stuffed animal toss. Once they get 10 or so in the basket, give them a prize!
This is a great core strengthening exercise that will help kids improve their posture, balance and agility.
Balancing Book Obstacle Course
If you want to really improve balance, try our version of the classic book balancing challenge! You balance a book on your head, but with a twist. Add an obstacle course in your room or apartment and have kids navigate the course, trying to keep the book on their head the entire time.
You can start off simple and then as kids perfect the course, add a few more obstacle to make it even more challenging and fun.
The Bear Walk
Kids have a blast with the bear walk! It’s a super fun workout routine for kids that challenges their coordination and develops body strength all at the same time.
You’ll want prep by creating a bear cave at the far end of the room by placing two pieces of furniture a few feet apart and covering them with a blanket. This will be used for the second part of the exercise.
Start the bear walk at the opposite end of the room from the bear cave. Then bend over and place your hands on the ground about 3 feet in front of you. Lifting your buttocks high in the air, step forward with your left hand first, and then your right foot. Then do the same thing with the opposite side: step forward your right hand and then your left.
Continue stepping like this about 20 to 25 alternated steps. When you reach the bear cave, crawl through the tunnel on your hands and knees to the other side.
The bear walk exercise is based on principle of whole body movement. Instead of isolating one body part, you are using all the muscles as a single unit and so your entire body gets stronger and visibly toned.
Ninja Turtle Punches
This game requires mobility, balance, power, strength, and endurance. Here’s how the game works:
There are four ninja turtles and each turtle is represented by a different color: blue, red, orange, and purple. To help your child identify the different colors, you can use multicolored spot markers or bean bags or whatever else you have at home with a variety of colors. You call out a color and she runs to that particular marker.
Once she is on the marker she has to throw a flurry of punches for 15 seconds.
Each time you need to call a different color she would have to sprint to the spot marker and perform a different set of punches. You can have her alternate between punches in the air, side to side punches, or punches down to the ground. Keep the punches safely in the air, no punches at friends or siblings please!
Batman jumps are very similar to jumping jacks, but they have an extra twist.
Rather than starting with feet together and hands to the side in closed position, have your child start with her feet crossed (one leg over the other) and her hands crossed over her chest.
Then, just like a jumping jack, she uncrosses her hands and legs simultaneously and jumps into the open position.
The Wrap Up
All of the workout routines for kids mentioned here are designed to keep your kids engaged in exercise through creativity and imagination. Remember the more fun you make it, the more they’ll develop positive associations with exercise and physical activity. Think of ways you can get even more creative with each one. I bet your kids even have some great ideas! Get them involved in extending obstacle courses, new positions or even modifying the rules of the sport.
Energetic Juniors specializes in personal training for kids (in fact, that’s all we do!) If you’re looking for a trainer to work with your child, take a look at the full range of personal training sessions we provide. Contact us at 212-879-1566 for more information. Take a look at our site www.energeticjuniors.com