Your child doesn’t have to be in sports to learn the importance of stretching. In sports, players typically have a warm up and then stretch followed by cardio, agility training and weight training.
I’ve worked in TV sports for many years and I see the routines players go through. Stretching is always done near the beginning. I’ve also been trained by a top sprinter and when we worked together we always stretched after warm up and also at the very end of our workouts.
Did you know that professional athletes consider flexibility as one of the components of speed? These guys jobs depend on it so it’s easy for you and I to understand how important stretching is.
What about injury? This is an equally important aspect. I’ve seen many people pull or tear hamstrings because they forgot to stretch. Now, most of those people weren’t kids, but it’s a good lesson for us to remember. Here are some benefits of stretching exercises for kids.
- Reduces the chance of tearing or pulling muscles
- Reduces the chance of muscle soreness
- Increases the chance of improved physical performance
- Increases the chance for a fuller range of motion
Here Are Some Stretching Exercises For Kids
- While standing, rotate the arms clockwise and counterclockwise making circles about 25 inches in diameter. Then try them with circles around 10 inches in diameter. The feet should be shoulder width apart with knees slightly bent.
- While seated, the legs are spread at a 45 degree angle. With arms straight, reach towards the left foot while keeping your head up and try to touch the chest to the thigh and the chin to the knee. You would repeat for left, middle and right.
- While lying down on the ground, raise your left leg up and with both hands, grab around the calf area and pull the leg to your chest. This helps stretch the hamstrings.
- While standing again do the twisting stretch. With feet should width apart and arms out like airplane wings, swing to the left and to the right while only moving the upper body.
- Finally, the wrist stretch. While standing, have one arm out with palm facing the sky. Take the other hand and pull the fingers down towards the ground thus stretching the wrist and forearm.
Make sure there is some type of warmup prior to stretching, never stretch to pain, perform these stretching exercises for kids slowly and smoothly, breathe normal, and do your best to hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.
Get more great kids exercise info over at www.myfamilyexercise.com/category/kids-exercise.