Core Strengthening Exercises for Kids
Core strength is important for all ages. For kids, it supports good posture and helps with motor skill development.
In today’s age, it is even more important. People are more sedentary than ever before. Technology continues to support inactivity, and childhood obesity rates continue to rise. Parents need to emphasize the importance of physical activity and encourage their kids to develop an active lifestyle at an early age.
A strong core builds a strong foundation. Further, it increases overall body strength. Here are our top 10 core strengthening exercises for you and your kids. Remember to keep it fun and light, so your kids don’t see the exercises as just another chore.
The Crab Walk
Instruct your child to start by sitting on the floor, with their knees bent and their feet hip-width apart in front of them. Tell them to squeeze their butt and abs, and lift their buttocks off the floor. Have them move one hand forward at the same time as their opposite foot. Tell them to alternate sides to walk forward like a crab! Make it fun for your kids and suggest crab walk races. It won’t feel like work, and your kids will have a blast doing it.
Do this core strengthening exercise with your kids! Begin lying face up on the floor, with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor. Squeeze your abs and butt. Lift your hips and buttocks off the floor. Try to hold this position as long as you can. Who can hold longer? Add a balancing aspect to it. Set a toy on their legs and challenge them to hold it for as long as they can.
Tell your kids to pretend to be their favorite superhero! Lying face down, lift arms and legs up off the floor at the same time. Hold for as long as possible to boost core strength. To make it even more fun, your kids can do this on a swing. Make sure to supervise so they don’t fall or get hurt.
Balance on a Stability Ball
Do you have an exercise ball around? Have your kids practice sitting on it. Once they have mastered sitting, mix it up by challenging them to lift one arm or one leg up. This variation will further challenge their core strength. Have competitions to see who can hold the longest.
Have your kids start on all fours. Have a buddy, or you hold their legs up and instruct them to walk forward with their hands. This core strength exercise is another one you can race each other with! To challenge their core strength further, hold their legs closer to the ankles. To make it easier, hold their legs closer to the hips. How far can they go?
Planks are one of the best core strength exercises. Make sure to position the hands directly under the shoulders and to keep a straight back. If a full plank is hard to do, perform this exercise from the knees. Make it fun for your kids by balancing different toys on their back during the exercise.
Crawling through a tunnel or a homemade obstacle course can really work the core muscles and help with stability. Set up a fort-style course at home that they have to get through. Or take them to the local park to crawl through some tunnels!
Plan a family afternoon bike trip. When biking, balance is a key aspect. Engagement of the core muscles helps stabilize and keep your kids upright on biking adventures.
Grab some chalk and set up a hopscotch design on your front driveway. Hopping on one foot challenges the abdominal muscles and core as the person tries to stay balanced. Building core strength through games can also promote a positive association with exercise for your kids.
Use the playground to your advantage. Monkey bars offer a great set up for a core workout, without your kids even knowing it. If your child is pulling him or herself up, they are using their core. Let them explore! They’ll find new ways to challenge themselves while building that much-needed core strength.
Always make sure to keep an eye on your child, especially during climbing activities. Safety is your number 1 priority. Have a BodyICE Kids ice pack at the ready, just in case. The BodyICE ice packs help to soothe pain and provide relief for bumps and bruises.
Remember, make exercising fun. It doesn’t have to be boring. Positively support your children, and encourage healthy behaviours. Help your kids grow up into healthy adults, and help your family lead their best and healthiest lives.