Fitness for Kids – Weight Exercises

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,523
    Certified personal trainer Margie Weiss demonstrates weight 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. What we are going to do right now is a little bit of coordination and some upper body strength. Light weights, whether they are weights that you buy at the store or whether they are something that you have at house like a tin can, can always be used to work the upper body. It's not a bad thing for children to work some weights. Obviously, they are not going to work 500 pound weights, they are children. So, you want to do the amount of weight thats appropriate for the child, but adding weight, a weight here, a weight here, any place on their body is going to help to solidify their bones and make them stronger in the end. Obviously, what it's going to do for the muscles is going to make them stronger and more coordinative.

    So, what we are going to do, weve got Olivia (ph) on the floor, but we can always do the exact same exercises on a bosu ball, as a complete different dimension, because the core is having to stabilize at the same time. So, Rye (ph) is going to be on the ball, and what we are going to do is a bunch of different exercises and it doesnt have to be in any order; if you have music and you like it and you want to work on the beat, so that everybody is going up and down together, like a class, great, but you dont have to do that. It's kind of like Simon says, they are just going to follow what you are doing and kids are really good at following. They are used to doing that, they are used to mimicking and, so this is an excellent way for them to learn skills safely. So, all were going to do is take a right arm up to parallel and bring it down, then we take the left arm, same thing, up to parallel and down, then we can do the right again. As the arm comes up, the shoulder goes low, your belly is into your backbone, you squeeze in your glutes, which is your hips kind of tight, so your body is very tall, your head is neutral -- this is just a forward raise. We can do the same thing to the sides. We are going to take a right arm to the side, just a parallel, and then we are going to bring it down. Then the left one, just the parallel and bring it down. Shoulders are low, head is high, belly is into the backbone. If you see Rye (ph), hers is going to be a little bit harder, she may wiggle just a little bit more than we are because she doesnt have a steady surface underneath her.

    Now we are going to try it to the back. So, we are just going to take the right arm and take it back -- this works the triceps, then the left arm back, also works the shoulders. Breath out, as the weight goes up and then breath in, breath out and breath in. We got our fingers pointed towards the back of the room but we can change that -- change muscle groups just by turning your palm inwards and going back, we are doing a slightly different muscle group. We can also take our palms and turn them forwards and go back with our right arm, and go back with the left arm. Same thing forwards, we got our palms forwards, we can lift up this way, before we did it with our palms down. We can turn them. This is called a hammer lift and lift them straight up the front and bring them down. Same thing to the side, we did it downwards, we can turn our palms towards the front of the room and lift them up, and we can turn the palms towards the ceiling and lift them up. A lot of different positions. Now, we can also go over head. We can take our arms right in here in L position. Again, chin is in, belly is in, we are just raising straight up to the ceiling and coming back down. You dont want to look up at the weights, you want to keep your chin neutral, so that your back is solid and your head is in line. You breath out here, and you breath in here, and we can change the hand position just a little bit on this, we can turn them so that they are towards each other, touch them at the top, make a triangle, and then bend them back down, and touch them at the top, and bend them back down. While we are here, we can also take the arms and bring them towards each other so they come in when we touch and we open back out. Hands dont have to be super tight. You dont want to give them the death grip on the weights, you just kind of hold the weights nice and easy because it's about your muscles and your arms and about your hand muscles here, and let me just bring them back down.

    A lot of different exercises, we can do biceps, so we will stand with our arms and our fingers forward, I am going to turn sideways, but you can stay forward, just going to bend your arms. When you bring them up, you dont want to quite bring the weight up to your shoulder and keep it away, just a little bit but you can let it go all the way down. Any time the weight gets too heavy for a child, or for an adult, you can alternate. So, you could do a right arm first and then left arm. If the child or the adult is able, do both arms, because youre going to double the work out. Your choice here, so thats a bicep curl.

    The triceps we did when we went backwards where we just lifted our arms here, you can also lean over, which again, harder on the bosu ball and then just extend your arms out at the back and then tuck them in till the weights comes right into your chest. So, your elbows are high and you tuck it right into the chest. Lot of variety and in children they get tired of one thing very quickly, much more quickly than an adult because their attention spans arent quite as long. So, by changing from going out to in to up and down, keeps their mind alert and keeps them more interested, than if you were to do 25 triceps extensions at the same time, which an adult can do, but you may not want to for a child.

    Again, do the weights according to your child. There are one-pound weights, there is twos, there are threes, there are fives, theyll find that they are stronger in some areas than others. Slow and smooth is always safe; jerking and fast is uncontrolled and makes the exercise a little bit more dangerous. So, you want to make sure that you keep everything really safe but the hand weights moving the arms any place, you can go front to side, any exercise you want using those hand weights, just make it up.