Fitness for Kids – The Wheelbarrow

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,272
    Fitness expert Margie Weiss demonstrates the wheelbarrow 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 Upside Down Fitness. This segment is going to be on wheelbarrow. I am sure most of you children have done some sort of wheelbarrow at birthday parties, at school or on the playground. We are going to show you a sequence of how you can get from the beginner level to much more advanced level to increase your childs fitness. We are going to start first with the basic position. We are going to go down, if you have noticed we have added some more mats here because we are going to move a little bit. We are going to drop down here and we are going to get in pushup position, the top of a pushup. Most people know what that position is, with the arms straight and the leg straight. Say your child cant do that because children often cant, there are modifications. You can drop your knees to the floor, so here to here is a much shorter distance. You can also put your elbows down on the floor, so that now you have an even shorter distance. Once the child masters these two positions from the knees and the elbows then they can rise up on to their hands. They can rise up on to their feet. If you hold these positions, or if the child holds the positions for say 10 seconds, you know they are pretty much ready to go on to the next activity, which is going to be the wheelbarrow .

    What we are doing here, put a foot in front and a foot back, so that you have some stability as you are going to lift the childs leg. One leg will come up at a time, so they dont kick you in the face, one foot then the other. Notice her shoulders are right over top of her hands. What we are going to do on this one, first just balancing and holding the position. She is gaining strength in her upper body and in her torso and in her legs. Then what we would do, which we are going to walk Rye (ph) forward three steps and come back three steps.

    Now, you can do this once for a beginner as they get better at that, go to two, to three to five go even up to ten. we can also go sideways. What all she does, is bring one hand to touch the other one and then walk to the side, come right back to the center and do the same thing to the other side. As she walks back, we are going to slowly let her down.

    Again, as a child gets pretty good at one of them, you can see when the muscles start to jiggle a little bit and they start to get shaky that usually means that they are at their limit for what they can do. So, you let them down, let them shake out then you try it again. As they get better one, five, ten generally, ten exercises of the same thing in a row is about what you want to do for an athlete. By that time they are on to the next thing in their mind. The next thing that we are going to do is a little bit harder. They need to be much more strong through the core and through the upper body in order to do it. You want to make sure you are on a mat. We are going to go up to that pushup position, one leg comes up in the back, other leg comes up. Shoulders are directly over the elbows, which are directly over the wrist. From here without her moving her hand, we are going to tip her forward slightly and come back. Put stress on the deltoids, which are in the shoulders, on the core muscles come back. Again I can tell by about two or three, you can see her arm starting to shake, so we probably with Rye (ph) will go to five exercises and then we will come back and let her down. When we do this exercise, all we start with one you can then move up, move a little bit more. Generally by the time they are 10 or 12 years old, they should be able to do upwards of ten. If they are an athlete, a gymnast especially that needs to use their upper body, they are going to want to go to maybe to 20 of these. You know your child and you know your capabilities, you want to stay within the safe range, as I did her exercises.