Fitness for Kids – The Headstand

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 29,019
    Fitness expert Margie Weiss demonstrates the headstand 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!

    Margie Weiss: My name is Margie Weiss; this is the headstand section of the upside-down fitness for the kids. First thing were going to want to do, how you do a headstand and how does a child do it safely, and how can I spot her? Spotting means assisting, so that I can make sure the she is safe and I am safe. So we going to go down, Roy is going to put her hands on the floor and her head, so that her head and her hands make a triangle. As the adult, I am down on my knees Im sideways. Im going to put my hands under her shoulder, so that there is not a lot of pressure on her neck, if she has never done a headstand before. She is going to take one leg behind her and lift it up. I am going to just bring it to the top. Now by holding her shoulder, I can help to stabilize her. Then as she gets the idea, I slide my hands up to her legs, so now I can put her body into a straight position. She can point her toes, hook her toes, doesnt really matter, but its nice for the coach, for the spotter, if the legs can be straight, because otherwise youre grabbing things that are flying all over the place. So she wants to keep her feet together, as if she is holding a piece of paper between her feet. Once we get so that we are established here, I am comfortable with it, the child is comfortable with it, we can start doing some activities upside-down, which will help to build her overall body strength. The first of those, Im going to stand up, because I can hold my arms at her waist, which is where she is going to bend each time. What we are going to start with first is the easier of the two exercises. She is going to straddle her legs, so I am going to hold right about at the knees. Notice I have my knees kind of in the middle of her back to help stabilize her. We are going to take the legs, Im going to go off to the side, she can stop halfway or if she is a little bit stronger she can tap to the floor and comeback up. Legs are going to come together. Notice my legs are bent, my belly is tight to my backbone and my shoulders are low, so that I dont get hurt when I do it. As she goes down, we tap the floor and I can help as little or as much as necessary to help her get her legs back up. As she gets stronger, Im going to bring my hands down closer to her hips. Now as she straddles, she has to do more of the work, and then I help her to bring them back up. Exercise, its a little bit harder, takes a little bit more stomach strength for her is a pike. So I am going to put my hands again, right at the waist. Put the hand on the thigh, so that she can gently drop her feet forwards and come right back up. As again, she gets stronger, hands on the hips, make her do the work all the way down and all the way up. If she is not quite strong enough, she can bend her knees as she goes down. Go ahead, bend, as you come down and then she rises. In order to get the child down on to the ground safely, hand goes on the waist and then again on the thighs, so you can slowly lower her down, and then she come back up. Three different exercises that you can do, the headstand, the straddle and the pike, all which work the whole body, unit exercises we call them. So the child has to work all her muscles in conjunction with the others.