Flexibility exercises in children should be practiced as a part of their daily routine. These keep them active and help to stay away from pain or muscle strain after playing sports or doing any other physical activity. These also make their body flexible to take up further activities like gymnastics, athletics, and dancing.
Basic stretching exercises involving static, dynamic, and active stretches help in improving the overall flexibility. Static stretching refers to holding a stretch in a challenging, yet doable position. Dynamic stretches are when repeated motions in a similar fashion are done for a set of counts. Active stretches involve contraction and relaxation of two muscles at the same time. Given below are some flexibility exercises for children which are easy, quick, and fun to do.
Flexibility Exercises For Kids
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1. Lunge Stretches
This is one of the static stretch exercises good for calf and back muscles.
- Stand straight and start by placing your left leg in the front and right leg behind.
- At a 90 degree angle, bend your left leg and support yourself by resting your right leg on the ground.
- Try to push your left leg deeper by resting your hands on the left leg.
- Stay in this position for 15 seconds and return to normal position.
- Repeat this with your right leg in front.
- Practice for a set of 5–10 counts or more depending on your tolerance limits.
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2. Arm Reaches
Arm reaches are also one of the static stretch exercises, which increase the range of motion of your arms.
- Stand with your feet comfortably apart.
- Outstretch both of your arms.
- Lean over to your right side until your right perpendicularly touches the ground and your left arm is parallel to the ground.
- You should feel the muscles stretching on your left side of the body.
- Stay in this position for 10 seconds, return to normal, and repeat by leaning over to the left side.
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3. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are dynamic stretching exercises which improve the blood circulation and improve metabolism.
- Stand straight with your feet together.
- Outstretch your arms.
- Jump to separate your feet while you lift your arms simultaneously.
- Jump to get back to normal position, while resting your arms on your sides.
- 15 counts of these would help you be active throughout the day.
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Being one of the dynamic stretches, squats, strengthen your hips, back, and calves.
- Stand up straight, place your feet apart such that they align along your shoulders.
- Stretch your arms in front you.
- Bend your knees slowly and lower your body towards the ground. Your toes can hold the weight of your entire body while doing this.
- Hold on to this position for 5 seconds and return to the normal position slowly.
- Practice this for 5–10 counts every day.
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5. Downward Facing Dog
One of the active stretching exercises, the downward facing dog pose helps you increase your flexibility.
- Stand up straight and bend over at the waist such that your hands touch the floor.
- Move your hands forward such that your body attains an inverted “V” position.
- The hands should be aligned along the width of the shoulders and fingers should be widely spread on the ground.
- Do not join your feet and keep a hip-width distance between them.
- Make sure your heels touch the floor.
- Continue being in this position for 10 seconds and return to normal, and repeat.
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6. Bow Pose
- On a mat, lie down on your stomach, with your hands beside your body and palms facing upwards.
- Bend your knees to raise them above the floor and hold on to your ankles with your hands.
- Simultaneously, raise your chin, neck, and chest such that your body attains a bow shape.
- The weight ideally lies on your stomach now.
- Tighten the grip by lifting your knees and thighs away from the floor.
- Hold on to this position for 5 seconds and return to normal position.
- Practice this pose for 4–5 counts, every day.
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7. Quad Pulls
Quad pulls fall into the category of active stretches and help in strengthing of your calves, back, and arms.
- Stand up straight and pull your left leg behind your body with your left hand.
- Lift your right arm up and stretch it as far as you can.
- Now, raise up on your right toes and hold on to the position for around 5 seconds.
- Return to normal position and repeat it pulling your right leg behind.
- Practice this for 10 counts on each side.
These exercises ensure flexibility, strength, and improved activity. However, it is important that parents or any other adults supervise the exercise session to ensure no injuries happen.