As a sports parent myself, exercises for kids to do at home is something that is very important to me. Things kids like most are what they can do on their own without it being so structured and pressured. Science and data show that kids who exercise 60 minutes per day are healthier and happier. Every parents wants this for their kids and the knowledge and understanding is what helps create good habits.
Playing tag is one of the best exercises for kids
By far one of the best things for kids muscles is playing good old fashion tag.
The stopping, starting and turning is similar to playing soccer, football, basketball and many other sports.
You can adapt/adjust different tag games. One of the most fun is once you get tagged you have to stand still until someone else crawls through your legs. Everyone gets a laugh and it makes it harder to “unfreeze/un-tag” each other.
2 ways to add a ball:
- Everyone has a soccer ball to dribble while playing tag. You have to keep control of the ball to tag and evade the tagger. Once tagged you must hold the ball in your hands until someone else comes to pass the ball between your legs to set you free.
- Dribble the basketball while playing tag. Once you’re tagged you have to hold the ball in your hands until someone comes to “unfreeze” you.
Jumping on the trampoline
5 exercises for kids to help with coordination:
- Jumping jacks – 20 jumps.
- Scissor movements. Legs move the opposite direction from jumping jacks. Instead of in and out, the legs move forwards and backwards. 20 jumps.
- 1 leg hops – 20 with the left leg – 20 with the right.
- Ski side to side. In one area you can hop left to right jumping off both legs. Make sure the feet land at the same time. 20 jumps.
- Jumping off of both feet moving forwards and backwards. 20 total jumps.
High interval training – exercises for kids
Let’s face it, not all kids want to play ball sports or team sports. What they need to know is how important it is to get their muscles and heart a good workout. It’s also important to know that you don’t have to literally stay running or moving the WHOLE 60 minutes.
These 12 exercises and stretches will be enough to keep every kid strong and fit. Getting the heart rate up early is important. Once you do this, the rest is easy.
- Jog in place (light) for 1 minute. This is a good warm-up.
- Do 20 jump in jacks
- Run in place for 30 seconds
- Side lunges left 5 steps, right 5 steps. (3 sets)
- Stretch each muscle for 10 seconds each.
- 10 bodyweight squats (10 reps 1 set)
- Mountain climbers / alternating knee-ins
- Walk around the house or yard for 1 minute
- Crunches (15 reps / 2 sets)
- Modified / Knee Push-ups (10 reps / 1 set)
- Crabwalk (10 yards forwards and 10 yards backwards)
- Cool down by jogging in place 30 seconds.
- Jumping jacks (20 reps)
- Stretch your quads, hamstrings, hips/butterfly and calves.
- Then for the next 20-30 minutes stay busy, simply walking around cleaning up the yard or house or playing with the dogs, shooting hoops or anything requiring you to stay moving on your feet.
Kicking and dribbling the soccer ball + video
Whether you are a beginner or have tons of experience, below are some great soccer exercises for kids. If you’re just starting out and wanting to get the basics down, watch this short fundamentals video / lesson.
For more advanced soccer skills try this video. It’s fun to watch these two college players learn and improve so fast.
The key in becoming better at soccer is to first teach the muscle memory correct form. Be patient and keep practicing. Once it’s smooth you can work on dribbling using vision and speed.
To learn how to pass and shoot, here’s a blog post teaching the 4 best ways to kick the ball.
Pick-up basketball or simply shooting solo
Basketball is a sport that you can play solo or with friends. If I could choose one ball sport, this is the one that you can improve on most by yourself.
Most neighborhoods have a school where kids meet on a certain day and play pick-up. Find your spot!
In the meantime put the ball to the pavement and work on your dribbling and shooting. The late Kobe Bryant would spend hours practicing the easiest skills. It’s one reason he was so great. Discipline goes a long way.
Running or walking the dog
Talk about knocking out 2 in 1.
You and the dog can get exercise. If you want more cardio you can either jog instead of walk or you can mix up sprinting and walking.
The mix of sprinting and walking or jogging gets your heart rate up and keeps it there. If you’re looking for a really good short workout, do this for 12 minutes. Walk 50 seconds and sprint 10.
Throwing the ball is great exercise for kids
4 main ways to do this:
- Parents playing catch with their kids
- Or do like I used to do being an only child who loved sports, is throw the ball and catch it. I literally would throw the ball in a stationary or 5 yard area and catch it. You can practice catching with 1 hand or different techniques.
One of the best exercises to do that is great for muscles, cardio and easy on your joints is swimming.
There are so many different ways/ideas you can do.
- Regular swimming / freestyle
- Different ways like backstroke, butterfly or several others
- Simply playing in the pool staying active/moving
- Basketball or catch in the pool
- Marco Polo
- Use your imagination and make up games
Riding a bicycle
Riding a bike either on your own or with friends.
Personally I never rode a bike for exercise, instead just to either ride for fun or to get to friends houses to hang out.
- You can do it strictly for exercise
- Casual riding
- Transportation to a friends house
Jumping rope is one of the best exercises for kids
Some of the best athletes spend time using the jump rope for their training.
This helps you build speed, quickness, muscle and endurance.
You can either jump solo or with friends.
One of the best exercises for kids is skateboarding
Have you ever seen a out of shape kid riding a skateboard? It burns tons of calories, works many muscle groups and obviously helps with balance.
A lot of what sports we choose depends on where we grow up, our personalities and natural gifts/talents.
Some people only like one activity while others enjoy all of them.
Whatever you do try to make sure you are staying active because it keeps you healthy and helps with our mental health.
Science proves that exercise helps up be more happy:)
Playing on playground equipment
The old school way! Playing on the playground is great for kids muscle and brain growth.
Climbing, swinging and constant movement helps build muscles that many other activities can’t do.
The mix of exercises for kids at the playground helps them stay engaged and having fun.
Add a ball: Soccer, basketball or whatever:) Have fun and think outside the box.