Simple stretches should be part of kids everyday routine. Any activity involving running, jumping or doing one of our fab hip hop tots dance routines requires a warm up session, incorporating some simple stretches, to prevent any injuries. However stretching is also handy for relieving any aches and pains or for some relaxation before bed.
Here are five simple stretches for your kids to try today:
Overhead Arm Stretch
This is simple stretch for kids that effectively works the upper body, shoulders, and arms. Stand up straight with feet together. Reach arms straight up and overhead, keeping back straight and without locking elbows.
Hands can be touching or apart. If preferred a very gentle backbend here can be incorporated – ensure chin and neck are kept lifted.
This is another stretch for kids that works the arm and shoulder muscles. Stand with arms outstretched and thumbs pointing down. Gently push arms back as if squeezing a ball between the shoulder blades.
Alternatively, slowly rotate the arms so that thumbs are pointing up. Hold; then rotate back to the first position. Hold again, gently squeezing arms back. Repeat a few times, always moving slowly.
This stretch for kids is influenced by yoga/Pilates and excellent for the spine. Start on all fours with the spine and neck in a neutral position. The back should be flat like a tabletop. Eyes should look straight down to the ground. Inhale, drop the belly down and slowly lift the neck and head up. This is the cow half of the pose.
Next, on an exhale, lift the belly and spine so the back is arched like a cat’s. Eyes look toward the bellybutton.
Repeat, alternating between 5 to 10 cat/cow stretches.
This relaxing position is a good way to start or end a stretching session.
Kneel down, then send your hips back on your heels, sink down in to your mat and reach long with your arms; hold for 3 to 5 breaths.
Finally we have the Cobra.This simple exercise is another kids stretch that is great for relaxation and is especially beneficially before bed.
Simply lie on your stomach, put hands palms down just outside the shoulders, then push your torso off the ground, keeping hips on the ground. Hold for a few counts, relax then repeat.