Fun & Easy Pilates Exercises for Your Kids
This is a guest post written by Manuel Cadaing for mhealth. mhealth offers physiotherapy, clinical pilates, orthotics and other related health services in Melbourne to improve well-being, fitness and performance.
Kids are fast learners. They can grasp onto techniques and concepts faster than adults as long as you are willing to spend time with them.
Clinical Pilates has been renowned for having a positive influence on children. It can help with physical and mental development.
The early years in children’s life can make a substantial difference to how they are as adults.
Highlighted in this article are some of the best and most efficient Pilates exercises for kids. It is essential to incorporate them into your children's routine because they can make a notable difference.
RELATED: What is Clinical Pilates? [VIDEO]
Rule #1: It Should Be Fun
Before taking a look at these exercises, let's note down this important rule first. It has to be used as a guideline by parents and guardians. There are too many adults who assume that children are going to be fine with regular Pilates. This is not true at all.
Children want something that is fun and will keep them engaged.
If they feel they are not involved, they will find Pilates to be boring and will want to move onto other things. However, you can prevent this from happening by making the session fun.
Ensure that you are letting them be creative with the movements and don't demand 100% perfection each time.
This openness will attract them towards Pilates.
Essential Benefits of Pilates
Let's take a look at the benefits as well before moving onto the exercises.
Develop their Physical Skills
The first benefit is having the children learn to develop their physical skills. Many children are not as developed when it comes to these skills. Therefore, they start to lag behind.
You don't want this to happen, right? So integrating Pilates into their life is essential.
Another benefit is enabling the children to achieve self-confidence. Pilates is able to provide them with a burst of confidence in their physical abilities. Hence, they’ll start to understand how their body works and how valuable certain movements can be.
You have to encourage this mindset as it will also help them grow as people.
Develop Athletic Skills
Children will also develop their athletic skills and achieve a level of fluency that would otherwise be hard to reach.
So why not encourage this? It is going to be useful as they join teams and interact with others later on in life.
Move Away From A Sedentary Lifestyle
Another benefit is the capability to move away from a sedentary lifestyle. This is especially important if you want your children to remain active as they age. Pilates is indeed a good direction to push them in.
Pilates Exercises for Kids
Let's take a look at the Pilates exercises now. Here are some of them which are very good for your kids:
Exercise #1: Toe Reach
It begins with the toe reach. The child will be asked to sit down with their feet stretched in front. The goal is for them to reach over and touch their toes without bending at the knees. This should be done methodically and should not be forced. It will ensure they don't get injured.
This is going to increase their flexibility and encourage physical development. Tell them to do this at least 10 times and focus on the stretch.
Exercise #2: Leg Rotations
The next one is going to be done with them lying down on their back. Make sure the mat they are lying down on is comfortable as this is going to be an important movement.
The goal is to raise one leg and start rotating it clockwise in the air. Tell them to make small circles in the air. You can also get creative and make it fun by telling them to make unique shapes in the air.
This is how you are going to open things up for them and ensure it does not become restrictive.
Exercise #3: Superman Stretch
Lots of kids want to be superheroes. So when you use the name "Superman stretch", you are already having their interest.
The idea is for them to lie down on their belly. They will be asked to stretch out as much as possible. When this is done, tell them to raise one leg up in their as high as possible and hold that position. Then, tell them to switch legs and hold that position again.
This is a useful exercise and does a lot for ensuring they remain relaxed.
This is what learning Pilates is all about.
CLINICAL PILATES has come a long way since it began. In fact, a lot of research has gone into what kids prefer and should be doing in their sessions. All of this research has gone into these exercises and they are well-regarded as best for children.
Try incorporating these into your sessions as soon as possible. They are certainly going to have a profound effect on your kids especially on how they feel in the short and long-term.
What more could you ask for when it comes to a Pilates session with a child?
It is indeed the perfect stepping stone to a lifelong active lifestyle.