Top 5 at Home Exercises To Do with Your Kids
It is no secret that kids need to exercise in order to get their energy out. With being indoors for most of the day, it is important to keep them active and using their bodies especially as they develop and grow.
As a parent working from home, you might feel as though you are stuck with little restless balls of energy. Whether you have one aspiring little ballerina or half of a basketball team with you at home, it is efficient to do certain exercises with your kids. An easy way to get your kids involved is to turn the exercises into games. Kids love turning work into play, so adding this twist might allow them to do exercises willingly. Take a lunch break one day and try these exercises out to see how your kids respond and how their focus shifts throughout the day.
Here are the top 5 at home exercises you can do with your little ones:
#1 Cardio Warm Up
Any time you do an at home exercise, the first thing you must do is a warm up. From head to toe you can do a cardio warm up in as quick as 5 minutes.
Jumping jacks are always good to start with and then adding ballet jumps like echappes to warm up the ankles, shoulders, and practice jumping from first position to second position. These exercises are best done by landing on the balls of your feet to the flat foot. This allows more strengthening of the ankles by pointing and resisting as you come down to the floor with as little sound as possible.
Tips: Pick a number 1 through 20 and then have your kids guess that number. Once they guess it, you can turn it into a quick math equation to get their minds going and be focused on the amount versus the exercise.
#2 Pike Stretching
Both of you and your kids sit in a pike position. Sit with your legs straight in front of you in a parallel position as they touch from the hips down to the ankles. You can then sit up straight and roll out the neck in both directions as well as your wrists and ankles. Rolling out the neck, limbs and joints is helpful during stretching.
Each direction should take at least 20 seconds to complete correctly. Once this is done, you can stretch by bending at the hips and folding your upper body forward. Keeping your head aligned with the spine, and reach your arms forward towards your toes. Holding this posture for at least 20 seconds, remember to breathe.
Tip: As you stretch with your kids, you can count how many breaths together out loud. For 20 seconds worth of stretching just breathe in and out about 10 times. Breathing will enable the muscles to relax and stretch properly.
#3 Freeze Dance
This at home exercise aims to help improve balance. The idea of being still and focusing on one unmoving point in the space that lifts up your eyes enough but not too much, all while you hold the dance pose and remember to breathe. In dance, this is usually done on one leg while holding a pretty position. It can be a lot! So with this exercise, you can have your little ballerina pick her favorite pose and her most challenging one while listening to music. Each verse is a balancing time frame and every time the chorus comes up they take a break then switch to the other side for the next verse. With balancing, posture is everything.
As an observer, check if their shoulders are dropped, abdominals are engaged and the legs are straight and turned out for the best support. To give your kids motivation for being still and balanced, pop in a few times before the song ends!
Tip: You can turn this into a game with freeze dance. Have your kids dance and move around while the music is playing and whenever the music stops, they must freeze on one leg. Don’t forget to involve some kind of prize for the winner.
#4 Strengthening Competition
You can turn this exercise into a family competition. Allowing the winner to pick a meal one night as a prize or even make the selection for the next movie night. This exercise has to do with the wall. Yes, we are talking about the infamous wall sitting.
Find a clear wall space or walls that are in the same room and position yourself in front of it facing away. Legs are to be parallel hip width apart and you want to be far enough to sit on the wall with your legs parallel to the floor. Once you are in the position you lift your arms making them parallel to the floor. Start your timer and let the competition begin! Fair warning, this may burn your legs quite a bit. After you finish this section, stretch out the quads by bending one leg at a time, and holding your ankle behind you and practice more balancing.
#5 The Coordination Game
This one can be the closing of the exercises and allows for you as a parent, and as a coach, to see how much more energy your kids have at home. Create an obstacle if you can with stations assigning a different position, move or action for each one.
Make it into a game; with a time frame your kids need to complete it with or a rule that will motivate them to complete each station. The rule can be not saying a certain phrase or being able to do all the exercises in a row without taking a break. The stations can be spread around the entire home to ensure those maximum energy levels are tapped into.
Now that you understand what kinds of exercises to do with your kids, the last step to accomplish is a ‘cool down’. This is when you pace yourself and stretch again while bringing your heart rate back down to normal. Sip on some water and walk in a circle, but don’t just sit down and get back to work. Take a few minutes to thank your body for all you put it through. So there you have it. Your top 5 exercises and activities to do at home with your kids. It will help writing it all down and telling your kids about your ideas ahead of time. This way they do not have the opportunity to resist you before even starting said exercises. And of course, enjoy this time with your little ones.