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There’s no doubt that exercise helps children of all ages become happier, sleep better, improve their sense of well-being, strengthen their muscles and bones, and reduce their risk of obesity.
In addition, a little digital detox for our kids will never go astray.
Along with playing sport or doing other physical activity such as gymnastics, dancing or cycling, starting kids in good gym classes from as early as age 7 can be hugely beneficial.
With some fun guidance from experienced, well-educated coaches who practice what they teach, here are 5 ways that your kids may benefit from starting out in the gym whilst they’re still young:
Many of us can relate to that feeling of trying out a gym class as an adult and getting injured by not doing the exercises properly.
Learning how to perform correct functional strength exercises from a young age can help set kids up for better success with sports, exercise and general daily life.
This includes learning to do fundamental movements without resistance such as body-weight squats, hip hinges, glute bridges, pushes and pulls, spinal rotations and lunges.
Once these exercises are done correctly, age-appropriate progressions to other levels can be performed such as handstands or pull-ups.
This is a really important foundation as core strength underpins everything we do and is important for a healthy and strong lower back.
At Movement HQ we use a lot of external cues to help kids visualise the way they should position their bodies.
This includes scooping up ice cream with their hips to get them to tuck their tail bone under, not arching their back in a plank like the Harbour Bridge, and keeping their body tight and upright (not floppy) like uncooked spaghetti.
By explaining the movements in terms of shapes of the body and helping them understand what the exercises feel like, kids can develop a great mind-body connection when they start to exercise young.
Research has shown that it’s more beneficial for kids to learn a variety of training styles and skills, instead of specialising on just one type of sport or exercise.
For example, young AFL players can benefit from lower body strength training, and young ballet dancers can benefit from cardio fitness and other types of exercise that help to develop skills for other physical activities.
This variety will also help prevent them from withdrawing altogether if they get bored from specialising in just one type of exercise or sport. We all know of teenagers who have given up gymnastics or athletics that they started in pre-school from feeling pressured to improve, or feeling burnt out all together.
Exercise should never have to feel like a chore – so joyfulness and love for what they do is possibly the most important aspect of all.
Exposing your children to a variety of different ways to exercise will help them find what they enjoy that is intrinsically rather than externally motivated, so that fitness becomes a life-long habit.
Suitable for kids aged 7 to 16 years, they’ll work together with other kids of a similar age and stage with the experienced, motivating and approachable coach Jess Villegas.
They’ll have fun working with others in small groups, and will learn great new skills from a variety of training styles that complement other activities.
This 6-session program is progressive, designed to help your kids improve their skills and have sufficient exposure to different training styles to keep it fun, interesting and rewarding.