Having a strong core is essential for daily activities that we often take for granted. Without core strength, it becomes difficult to balance, perform coordinated movements on both sides of the body, sit up straight, or even jump. That being known, it is important to start your children off right with kid-friendly core strengthening exercises. We’re not talking about trying to convince them to do grueling quantities of crunches or anything like that. Instead, we’re offering up a few basic movements that can be fun and offer variations when your child is ready to advance.
What kid doesn’t want to fly and be a super hero? For this exercise, let your child choose their favorite super hero of the day and have them lie on the floor, stomach down, and lift their arms so that their upper chest comes up. You can make it more fun by having a child reach up for you to hand them pieces of a puzzle or stickers to place on a poster board.
Another great kid-friendly core strengthening exercise is bridging. Have your child lie on their back this time, with their knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Have them push through their heels to raise their bottoms off the floor. Be sure they are keeping their head and shoulders on the ground, and have them hold this position for several seconds at a time and repeat.
For the plank exercise, have a child lay on their stomach with their hands flat on the floor at shoulder level and their toes on the floor. On the count of three, have them push up on their hands to straighten their arms and lift their whole body off the floor. If lifting their entire body is too much, have them drop their knees to the floor for support. Additionally, another variation of the plank exercise can be done on the forearms.
Wheelbarrows are a fun kid-friendly core strengthening exercise that kids often love to do. Once again, have your child lie on their stomach on the floor. While you hold their ankles, have them walk with their hands forward 10 steps and then backward 10 steps. If 10 steps are too difficult to start, try five and let them work their way up. If they don’t like having their ankles held, they can also use a large fitness ball to do a similar exercise. Have them start with their thighs on the ball and let it roll to their ankles as they walk their hands out. Furthermore, you can add a bit more of a challenge by having your child walk forward to pick up a ball and put it in a basket with one hand.
Some kid-friendly core strengthening workouts can come from good, old-fashioned outdoor play. Here is a list of common outdoor kid activities that will give your child a core workout without them even realizing it.
- Swinging (on their own)
- Tug of war
- Crab walking
- Climbing on jungle gyms
- Bicycle riding
We do personal training for kids too! From athletes to beginners, we have a ton of programs to get your little one enthusiastic about fitness and help them establish healthy habits for life!