Today’s generation of kids is very different from generations past. There was a time many years ago when parents of children didn’t have to worry about their kids during the off-season because they knew their kids would stay active by riding their bikes and playing outdoors with their friends. Today’s kids, on the other hand, don’t spend as much time playing outside and the off-season may give them a reason to retreat back to their homes and play video games instead.
For this reason, parents should encourage their kids to stay in shape during the off-season to maintain their strength and conditioning so that it’s not difficult for them to bounce back when the new season starts.
Here are some great exercises that you and your child can do together at home during the off-season:
The ability to drive with the legs is critical to the majority of sports. There are plenty of exercises kids can do to build leg strength such as side lunges. Here are some others:
- Prisoner squats are when both hands are placed behind the head, and they squat up and down.
- Step-ups and step-downs is also a good exercise for the legs.
- Squat jumps another exercise where they squat down, back straight, and then explode upward with your arms extended above your head. This builds lower extremity and core strength as well as power.
The best part is that there is no equipment needed for these exercises. But if you want to increase difficulty, you can hold small weights or a medicine ball.
Medicine Ball Slam
This activity builds power and core strength. Hold the ball with both hands and slam it to the ground in front of your feet. Then catch the ball and repeat. For kids under the age of 12, a 2-4-pound medicine ball is sufficient. Avoid using a ball that’s too heavy to decrease the risk of injury and the development of the targeted muscle group.
Body Weight-based Activities
For children not yet in high school, it’s advisable not to lift weights as they may not be able to execute good form yet. Instead, they should use their body mass as resistance through pull-ups, push-ups, and squats and other similar exercises. This is so that they can develop their muscular-skeletal frame without causing any exterior stress that can be caused by mishandling weights.
Proper Movement Drills
There might be some children that have yet to run correctly or jump and land properly. Movement skills with body weight-based activities set the workload and the technical demonstration that they can perform and exercise and move correctly. Over time, the children will be able to perform the same kinds of activities but with their framework prepared to deal with an external load.
Jumping rope, with the correct technique is low impact with high benefit. It is also portable, affordable and an overall good exercise. A high cardiovascular warm-up exercise. It targets your lower muscle groups as well as your upper muscle groups. This also enhances balance and coordination.
Multiple Sports Participation
Another option for your child to stay active during the off-season is to find another sport that is in season. Sports variety is great for kids. It also allows them to try new sports and discover which one they may want to focus on year-round. When they participate in many different sports, they become overall better athletes.