Group exercise for kids

June 2, 2009

I’ve recently started a program for kids at Endorphin Gym in Kingston. It’s called Kid Fit and its designed for 8 – 12 year olds.

In the build up to todays first session i assessed all the kids prior to the fisrt session. The first thing i noticed is how quickly these kids want to grow up. 

Almost every one of the kids, when i asked them how old they were, they said their actual age and then straight away said how old they were turning.

For example, one kid when i asked ‘how old are you?’, said to me “I’m 11 turning 12”, i was thinking that their birthday must be coming up in the next week or so.. so i asked ‘When is your birthday?’. They replied “november’. Meanwhile here we are in May.. still at least 5 months away from their birthday! I’m 19..i’m not turning 20. Things start to get serious when you reach the twenties!

Anyway the day of the first session comes. I try and squeeze in 4 assessment before the start of the session. Things were pretty busy with kids coming and going that i hardly had time to plan the session.

10 kids rock up to the first session which is a pretty decent number considering we’d only advertised it two weeks earlier. All these kids were so different. Some played soccer, some football, swimming, horse riding, some did dancing, some had never done a push up or sit up before and some kids couldn’t do two skips in a row so the challenge for me was to structure the class so there was something for everyone.

The class started well doing some aerobics based exercise such as step ups,skipping and running and jumping. Then came the resistance exercises.

My aim is to teach good technique and develop a solid strength base so we can run a more circuit formatted class. But for now we would all do the same thing so i could watch them all and walk around and correct them.

It was a new experience seeing the way kids work. The thing that stood out the most was one kid who had a bit more troube than the others in terms of learning new things.

Here i am trying to give all the kids options, so i run  through 4 types of push ups that they could do. The first was against a wall in a standing position. The second was on the knees with hands on the aerobics stage. The third was a knee push up and the fourth was a push up on their toes.

So i ask this kid which option he was going to do.. thinking he’d take the wall or aerobic stage option but no, without hesitation he says ‘I’m going to do the toe push ups’.

So off he went, i watched closely and he didn’t get one push up out, i can’t possibly describe what he was doing but it definately wasn’t a push up so i told him to try some on the stage which he was able to do about 5 good ones before going back to some crazy dance routine.. well thats what it looked like!

Although he couldn’t do a full one it was really good to see that he endeavoured to be as good as the others and knows where he wants to progress to.  These are the types of kids who are great to work with. Because one day down the track he’ll come in to one of the sessions and there he’ll be pumping out full push ups with proper technique and i’ll say to him ‘remember the first time you came in and could only do 5 proper ones on your knees against the stage?’ and they’ll think back and realise how far they’ve progressed and what they really can achieve if they’re given the chance. And for me that is the most rewarding thing to see. I can’t wait!

This is what Kid Fit is all about. It giving those kids the initial opportunity and knowledge to a healthy life through an emphasis on fun classes with other kids who are in the same boat as each other.