Fitness for Kids – The Handstand

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,229
    Fitness expert Margie Weiss demonstrates the handstand for kid’s upside down fitness.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    Hi, I am Margie Weiss, this is upside down fitness, it's the handstand section. Once a the child has mastered the headstand and the adult has mastered spotting the headstand, the next thing you might want to do is a handstand. Every child on the beach loves to kick upside down and do a handstand. There is a technique to it in order to keep the child and you safe. Once they have mastered the headstand and their body is strong enough, then we go to this handstand. What were going to do to spot them -- and this is one that if youre not comfortable with, feel free to get a professional to help you with, but as a spotter Im going to get down on my knee. Shes going to put both hands down. Now, I always tell the child, find something on the floor or you can even put a small toy or an animal on the floor to have them look at it, because you want to be looking at the floor. As I spot her, Im going to put a hand on her shoulder, because the possibility of her bending her elbows and going down onto her head is there, so as long as I bend my elbow, use my strength, to support her shoulder, Im taking some of the weight off of her. She is going to, just like a headstand, take one leg behind her and one leg on the ground, and she is just going to push off as she goes to the headstand. Im holding right at the knees. Now, Riah (ph) is pretty good, she automatically brings her feet together, but your child might not, so you may not want to go all the way up the first try, you maybe want to try it and just go partially up and come right back down. So, you just kind of kick and then come down, until the child and you get the feeling for each other. Once you have got that, were going to kick right up to that handstand, she is looking at the floor. She has got her belly tucked into her backbone as do I, and then Im going to slide all the way up, safely bending the knees. Waist is critical, thats where we want to put our hands as youre first starting some of these skills. So, Im going to drop my hands to here, or do the straddle position, where she just straddles down, Im going to hold one hand on either hip. Now, she can tap her toes all the way down to the ground and back up, my knee is right in the center of her back, so that way I help to stabilize her core as she straddles. Lets try it one more time Riah, can you? All the way down, and then you got to pull it all the way back up, and bring them together. Next thing were going to do is a pike, Im going to give her a break so she can come down safely. So, you got the blood come back. You dont want to do all of these exercises upside down till the child is upside down for ten minutes, lot of blood to their head. So, now were going to try it again. She is going to kick up to a handstand, one leg at a time, leg nice and straight. Second position is going to be a pike; little bit harder, more core workout for her. Obviously by being upside down she is doing a lot of strength in her upper body without moving at all, just holding her own weight, so she is actually doing a weight workout using her body weight. To pike down, hand in the thigh, she is going to bend or straighten both legs down, bring them back up. If she were a beginner, we will do a bend one for you just to show; bend it down and take it back up. Again, were doing a lot of supporting, so mom or dad, youre doing some more work here too so make sure you bend your knees and not your back. The last thing were going to do is called a handstand push up. So, she is going to bend her elbows just a little bit, and then come back up. Now, she gets a little stronger, she can bend them a little more. If you notice, Im doing a lot of work too, which means we got to bend as were standing up and then straighten back up as well. Hand on the waist, pike her down, so she safely goes back down. Mom or dad, when youre doing this, youre doing a squat; sink, stand up, try not to do this, keep the child enclosed to you. If you need to, put a foot out in front, so you have one foot on either side of the child, that way youre safe as youre going up and down. Kids love handstands, use this as a fun activity for them.