P.E. Classes Warm-ups Part 6

So the last group is for the Elementary school kids. Again like we did on the others lets look at a few differences in the age group we are working with. First this age group is far closer to the other two to still having a fairly high level of efficiency. The 1st through 3rd graders in particular should still have decent control over their skeletal system. Assuming their parents did not park them in front of the Nintendo all day growing up. Thats a different topic we can discuss later. So here is a good general warm-up for the Elementary age Kids.

1. Bear Crawl – 20 steps (On hands and feet crawl forward; keep back flat and knees under body in line with hips.)

Since these kids typically have better efficiency you can go right to the larger more integrated movements. It does not take as much focused effort to restore the various component we discussed earlier. Instead think more about making their bodies go through as many movements as you can, using movement to accomplish all your goals. The Bear Crawl is going to be my Flexion/Extension of the hips.

2. Monkey Hops – 20x (Standing with knees bent and hands on the floor inside of feet, hop both hands out in front of you then hop both feet as far forward as you can comfortably to outside of hands; repeat.)

I really like this move for the younger kids, its a more challenging movement than a bear crawl and provides good lumbar flexibility. Also the load into the shoulders is a great strength builder at the younger ages. I will make this the Vertical push and horizontal push move for the upper body.
3. Full Bridge – 30 sec (Lie on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, place hands next to ears and palms flat on the floor so that fingers point toward your shoulders.  In this position raise hips by squeezing glutes and straightening arms, lifting entire body off the floor as high as is comfortable and hold.)
A great extension move. I usually work hard on getting my older clients and athletes to be able to do this one. This will work not only for my horizontal pull exercise but also the Hip Flexor range as well.
4. Donkey Kicks – 10x (On hands and feet, drop knees towards the floor and jump off both feet and kick both legs up into the air.  Hold in the air as long as possible then lower back down collapsing hips upon landing.)
I try to encourage the kids to go up into a full handstand if they can. This is one of my favorite moves for Vertical Push. I know I did it earlier but the power and coordination this move teaches is hard to beat for this age group. I also am going to count this as the vertical pull as well since the Lats need to work so hard to help stabilize the shoulders.
5. Downward Facing Dog Squats – 20x (On hands and knees.  Curls toes under feet and straighten legs by lifting knees off the floor.  In this position lower knees to the floor and back up; repeat up and down.)
A good move for Hamstring flexibility. Make sure they are trying to go all the way up each time.
6. Lateral Lunge Walk – 20 steps each way  (Stand with feet under hips and hands behind head, bend right knee and take a big step to the side with your right leg.  Standup by straightening right leg and bringing left leg underneath hips.  Repeat then switch directions.)
Make them stay real low. I have called this one Lateral Gorilla Walk with the kids to help them think about staying low and keeping their hands low towards the ground. I like the mobility in the hips and this is a great Abduction/Adduction Move.
7. Jumping Jacks – 20x (Stand with hands relaxed at your sides, jump in the air while simultaneously spreading feet out and bringing hands together above head, land and then jump in the air bringing feet back together and hands back to sides; repeat.)
As I have mentioned after a few of these I like the coordinated movement exercises for the younger kids. This is a classic and it is always a fun one for the kids as well.
If you are able to grab the attention of the kids long enough it is also a good idea to go over basic flexibility exercises as well. It is never too early to start to learn how to keep your body healthy and this is an easy way for them to do it.

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