Fitness for Kids – Step Exercises

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,707
    Certified personal trainer Margie Weiss demonstrates step exercises 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. Cardio, as you know, is heart. So, we want to try to work the heart and the way to do that is to move. There are lot of options here that we are going to be doing different levels so that you can start with a low level and you can move up to a high level. We are working with some steps here. So, if you have access to steps thats nice. You can do some of the stuff on the stairs. You can also just build a little box for your child to work on real simple, but steps you can find at almost any sports store and they are really good piece of equipment for children to work with as well as adults. We are going to start steps on the floor, beginner, moving up to advanced. As a beginner, all we are going to do here is go out, out; up, up, so its wide and together, wide and together. Generally, these activities that we are going to do, whether its beginner or advanced, we are going to try to do at least for a minute, but you could technically go up to five or ten minutes on it. If you want to make sure that the athlete who is much more fit gets a really good workout, easiest option, what we just did. Little bit harder option, is the jumping jack. Some kids have trouble with this at the beginning, so, you can do it slow. You can do a tap and a tap, which is a slow or a low impact. Moms, you may want to that one because it doesnt impact you. Thats what you call a low impact jumping jack, but a high impact jumping jack start with your hands on the hips. That way they dont have to worry about their arms and just do a straggle and together, a straggle and together. Thats a basic jumping jack. If they want to add their arms, as they straggle, arms go up, as they come down, arms come down. So, you can start it slow and move it faster. Most people know what a jumping jack is. Its basic, but its a really good cardio exercise and it also involves some coordination which is a good thing for kids too. Now, lets put the stuff up on the bench. You can do the same thing. Again, they are only doing it for a few seconds, but you would be doing it for a minute, three minutes, five minutes, whatever your child can handle. So, we are going to start with that basic one. We are just going to step out and then out and then right back on top. We go out, we go out, up and up. Yeah, its wide, wide, together, together and one more; wide, wide and we stop on top. We did it to the right. You need to also do it to the left. So, you would step down left side, right side, left side and up. Yeah, so its left, right, left and we stop right on top; easiest option. Second option, we are just going to tap the feet to the sides. So, we tap a foot to the right, we tap a foot to the left. You can add arms if you want because remember anytime you add arms up above the heart, you are getting more of a cardio workout, raising your metabolism, raising your heart rate. Yeah, then from the top. Now, we are going for the harder one. The thing you want to watch out for, this step is a little higher than this. So, for a more advanced person, they would have a higher step. There are risers that you can put on them to make it even higher. When you do a jumping jack off of it, the one thing you want to concentrate on is you dont want the child to step on the edge because you can turn an ankle. So, you tell them, go as wide as you can, so that you are not going to touch the bench, and if you do get tired, if you are timing it for a minute or two minutes, if they get tired, just hop on top until they regain their coordination because its not worth wiping out an ankle to do a cardio exercise and this cardio does the same as this, but its a little safer. So, if you need to, so if any of you guys get tired, do a few hops on top. What theyre going to is jumping jacks, they are just going at their own pace, they are going out and up, out and up. They can use no arms or they can use jumping jack arms, where they go and down; alright. Again, if they get tired, or they feel uncoordinated they will just hop on top or walk on top for a few, and then start again because that way you begin your coordination fairly fast.

    Then in order to cool it down just a little bit, you may want to just walk on top for a few minutes, because the heart rate will come back down; but again youll notice an easy exercise, but its something that kids can do in combination. You can do fancy stuff where you can change arms, so that it makes a little bit more interesting. Lots of things you can do with the basic jumping jack.