Articles, Blog

Strength and agility exercises for kids

November 15, 2019

(upbeat music) – Hi, my name is Cara Komisar and I’m a pediatric physical therapist and this is Becky McFaye,
a recreational therapist and we both work for the University of Michigan health system. Last summer we started a
program called Sports Club, which is fully funded by Dance Marathon through the University of Michigan. It’s a six week program that meets once a week for an hour and a half. Each week a new sport is broken down to allow our participants extra time with increased supervision
to improve their skills. This week we’re going to be focusing on strength and agility
which will help to improve coordination and endurance
while participating in sports. We’re gonna be demonstrating
a couple activities that can be easily performed at home to improve your coordination
with your kids over the summer. The first activity we’re going
to demonstrate is hopscotch! You can start by making your own hopscotch grid on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk or you can use an agility ladder like we are going to use today. Start by jumping with two feet out and hopping to one foot, and you can use the same foot throughout as
you’re starting to practice. So, for instance you’re
going to go with two feet, then hop on left foot, two
feet, then hop on right foot. If that is too difficult
for your child you can just start with two
feet, jump on left foot, two feet jump on left foot, until they get the feeling of the correct movement while going through the hopscotch grid. Some other activities
that you can do through the agility ladder would be
jumping with two feet forward, two feet backwards, or
two feet side-to-side. Those are great activities
working on keeping both feet together, and
you can use the cues for gluing your feet together so that they don’t come apart while
jumping over the lines. Another great activity would
be running in and out of cones. You don’t have to have
cones, you can use paper cups or plastic cups or even paper markers that you can place on the floor. You can run in and out using
a figure eight pattern, you can run backwards through the cones using the figure eight pattern
to increase the difficulty. Jumping with two feet over hurdles can be a really challenging task for kids, but it’s great for
coordination and strength. You can use books, or you can use any other object that’s
about six inches off of the floor and jump with two feet over the top of each of the hurdles. At the end, jump onto a solid surface and jump off of the solid surface to work on landing and form. So, the last activity we’re going to participate in is Karaoke. Start by facing your body and stepping forward with your left foot, stepping over the top
with your right foot, stepping with your left foot again, and right foot behind. So you’re gonna go left foot, right over, left foot, right behind. Move in both directions
so that your children can work on bilateral movements and strengthening in both directions. Thank you for taking the time to learn new tips to help your children
with agility and endurance. For more tips, visit the website at (upbeat music)

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