When it comes to exercise for kids, it’s all about making fitness fun. The animal kingdom is a great resource to turn to for inspiration. Kids use their imagination to unleash their inner animal and improve strength, flexibility, and mobility. Try it with your child—you'll get a workout too!
Animal exercises can be a part of your daily indoor routine. Put all of the following exercises in a hat and pick three animals to imitate every day. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest, then repeat the circuit three times.
Start on your hands and knees. Gently lift your knees 1 to 2 inches off the ground. Travel by crawling like a bear, keeping your back flat with your knees bent and close to the ground. Move forward, backward, and laterally.
- Challenge 1: Put something on your back—textbook, can of beans, etc.—to throw off your balance.
- Challenge 2: If you’re feeling extra strong, eliminate one leg or arm.
Start on your bottom with your hands behind your back and legs bent at the knees. Lift your bottom off the ground. Keep your belly as parallel to the ground as possible. Move forward, backward, laterally like a crab.
- Challenge 1: Put something on your belly—textbook, shoe, can of beans—to balance.
- Challenge 2: Add toe touches. Keeping your bottom off ground, reach a hand across to the opposite foot, repeat on other side.
Start in a deep squat with your hands between your legs on the ground like a gorilla. Stay in deep squat as you travel in any direction to build strength and flexibility. Swing your arms while you travel.
Keep two feet together and hop across the room like a bunny. This exercise will get your heartrate up.
Start in deep squat with your hands on the ground (like the gorilla exercise). Jump up as high as you can with your hands and feet leaving ground at the same time. Land and return to starting position. This builds strength and endurance.
Build strength by walking like an inchworm. Start in a standing position. Bend forward, lower your hands to ground, and keep your feet still as you walk out to a plank. From the plank, keep your hands still as you walk your feet in toward your hands.
Alligator crawl (army crawl)
Start on your belly, staying as low to the ground as possible. Alternate using your right arm and left leg and left arm and right leg to move forward. This builds total-body strength.
Start in cobra position—legs on the ground, belly and chest off the ground with hands on the ground at your sides. Crawl using only your hands, dragging legs behind to build strength.
Get your heartrate up by waddling like a duck around the house.
Knees up! Stomp like a dinosaur to release your energy. The higher you can get your knees, the better.
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