Fitness for Kids – Resistance Ball Activities

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,509
    Certified personal trainer Margie Weiss demonstrates resistance ball activities for kids.

    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!

    My name is Margie Weiss and this is Kids Cardio Conditioning. What we have here is a resist-a-ball. You can buy it at any local sport store and there are two sizes, a smaller and a bigger, 55 and 65 centimeters. I would suggest the smaller one with kids just because you can do a lot more things with it. It's cheap and it's a really fun activity, you can do a ton of different things with this ball and kids really enjoy it.

    One nice thing about it is just sitting on it. If the child is watching TV or doing homework sitting on a resist-a-ball, forces them to work their core with minor adjustments to keep their balance. They dont really feel that they are doing anything, but sit on a ball for 20 minutes and you will find yourself jerking, because you muscle isnt being able to handle it. You are getting tired.

    So what Olivia is going to do here first is she is going to pretend like this ball is an eggshell, so she doesnt want to sit on it too much. Shes going to have her feet a little wider than shoulder width apart and that way, she could actually stand up and then as she sits very gently, little tiny taps. So, she is only using that ball, just for minor control. So what she is using here is your core strength and definitely quad strength. We are going to add to that just a little a bit, if we want, by having her put her hands forwards. She is still doing the up and down but she is going to twist to the side, to the center, and to the side, so now she is adding the obliques, the intercostals, muscles around the core that we need for twisting and turning and it helps to stabilize the back.

    If we want to go a little bit farther, we can take some hand weights, some light hand weights, but we are moving slowly enough on the twist that we are not going to injure anything, were not going to do any kind of do any kind of ballistic motion which is powerful and quick. It's very slow and controlled, so now we have got the quads working, we have got the core working, we have got the shoulders and the arms working. So, we have basically a whole body work out in one little exercise. The child maybe able to do it for 10 seconds, or like Olivia, who is in better shape, she may be able to do it for 30 seconds or a minute and just by adding and changing some activities, arms and legs and tummy and twists, we can make it a little bit more fun for them. She is going to take a rest.

    You can also do this on a bosu ball, if you happen to have one. Obviously it's lower, so youre going to have to do more and if the child has knee issues you may not want to do this, because the legs are a little bit more than 90 degrees but it's a really good exercise. Just by doing the exact same thing, and you can twist and you can also add those arms as you are doing it. So, whether you use the bosu ball or the resist-a-ball, this exercise is a great unit exercise that can be done after the child is warmed up, it probably wouldnt be the first exercise you would do in a work out, but once they are warmed up, the arms and the legs and the core, this is a really good big muscle group exercise to do using the resist-a-ball.