More than ever, parents are finding that it is important to instill a sense of healthy living into their children. With childhood obesity on the rise, conscientious moms and dads are looking for ways to teach their kids the importance of healthy eating and exercise.
It is now becoming commonplace for many parents to schedule family workout times with their children in pursuit of healthier lifestyles and habit forming.
One of the easiest exercise sets to teach kids involves the use of resistance bands.
What are Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are long, stretchy bands that usually have handles on each end. They work by adding external resistance without having to add much extra weight, so you get a comparable workout to lifting weights or incline bike riding or running without as much push-back.
The resistance applied to the exercise depends on the exercise, itself, and can be adapted to less or more difficulty depending on the need. Most of the time, your own body weight will act as the opposing force. However, resistance bands can also be secured or anchored into place against walls, furniture, or other stationary items.
Benefits of Resistance Bands with Children
Many people like to use resistance bands with their kids for a number of reasons. When looking for exercises that you can do with small children, you want to find something that is safe and adaptable to their little bodies and needs.
You also want to look for an exercise that will help your children grow and become stronger and with which they can fully adapt their workouts over time depending on their changing needs. There are also a variety of fun exercises that can be done with resistance bands to target all areas of the body.
Resistance Band Workouts are Easily Adaptable.
Resistance bands are adaptable to any fitness level or strength. Even small children can exercise with a resistance band safely and at a comfortable pace. They can also be used to perform adaptations of familiar exercises.
An example of this is standing on one end of the resistance band and curling your arm up while holding the other end. This is virtually the same thing as lifting dumbbells. The difference is that your child’s weight will be the opposing force, so the force will be just right for their smaller size.
Get a Cost Effective Workout for the Whole Family.
Resistance bands are extremely inexpensive. They retail for as low as a few dollars each online. With resistance bands, there is no need to invest in a family gym membership or buy multiples of expensive gym equipment.
With many resistance bands, you will also be provided a booklet or DVD that will help you with guided workouts and how to use resistance bands to the best of their abilities. It’s like investing in exercise equipment and a personal trainer all for only a few dollars.
You Can Exercise Your Whole Body.
Resistance bands are so versatile that there are simple exercises that can be used to work on all points of the body. With varied routine schedules, you will soon find that your entire body is feeling stronger.
Every day, you can work on something different. Arms on Monday, legs on Tuesday, and your core on Wednesday? No problem! Resistance bands are all you need.
By varying your workout schedule, you can teach your kids to take better care of themselves and to pay close attention to all parts of their bodies and their health.
Resistance Bands Store Easily.
If storage is a problem in your household, you will probably find that resistance bands are exactly what you need. Because resistance bands are lightweight, small, and easily wound up, they are some of the easiest pieces of exercise equipment to store.
They fit nicely into drawers and storage containers to be used at your convenience without taking up valuable floorspace. You can even hang them on hooks or tuck them away neatly into your DVD stand along with your video workouts!
You Can Take Your Workout With You.
If you’re going on vacation soon, you’ll enjoy the portability of resistance bands. They take up very little space in your suitcase or carry-on. Resistance band workouts can be done pretty much anywhere, including hotels, city parks, or even the car, depending on the workout you are doing.
Are the kids going for a long weekend to Grandma’s? Do they split their time between parents who no longer live together? No problem – They can take this simple workout with them anywhere they go.
Resistance Band Workouts are Safe.
Unlike the kind of workouts you would get from larger exercise equipment, resistance band workouts are completely safe for children to partake in.
While lifting weights, running on a treadmill, or even riding a stationary bike can all pose serious health and injury risks to children, resistance bands are fairly simple and non-threatening. The worst case scenario with a resistance band workout is the danger of a snap- back from the rubber cord.
You don’t have to worry about shoelaces getting caught in rotors, a child overworking their muscles, or any of the other hazards of typical gym equipment.
How to Use Resistance Bands with Your Kids
Now that we have discussed the whys of using resistance bands, we will discuss how to use resistance bands with your kids, focusing on different individual parts of the body in separate, easy to manage workouts.
Keep in mind that each of the workouts below is specifically designed to target a separate part of the body, so you will want to vary them day to day in order to ensure that your body is getting a full work out and that your kids are getting the most out of their resistance bands.
Exercise Your Lower Body by Pretending to be a Growing Flower
Teach your children to stand on their resistance bands with their feet spread at about shoulder distance. They should stand on the middle section of the resistance band and take the handles in each hand.
They will then squat down, pulling the handles to their shoulders and holding them. This is when you explain to them that they will grow like flowers.
They should stand up from squatting while their hands are still holding the handles at their shoulders, then squat back down. Have them do this ten times. Caution them not to step off of the resistance band until they are all done and the handles are safely on the floor.
Exercise Their Backs by Rowing a Boat.
For this exercise, the children will stand on the resistance band the same way they do during the growing flower exercise. Instead of holding the handles at their shoulders though, they will lean forward and pull the handles up and in a circular motion as if they are rowing a boat.
This exercise helps strengthen the muscles of the back and chest. They should do this exercise in a 10-rep patter, then set the handles on the floor before stepping off of the resistance band.
Strengthen Your Shoulders by Flying Like a Bird.
Place one foot on the center of the resistance band. Take the handles into each hand and simply flap your arms as if they are bird wings.
Your kids will have fun doing this one, so let them go at least ten reps, but if they want to keep going, then definitely let them.
As always, remind them to set the handles down on the ground before they step off the band.
Strengthen Your Core Muscles “Chopping Wood.”
Anchor one handle overhead, then grab the unsecured handle with both hands overhead. Pull the band down in front of you as if you are chopping wood with an axe.
Twist from one side to the other as you “chop” to exercise the muscles on each side of the body.
Ready, Set, Go! Families that Exercise Together are Healthier Together!
Hopefully, this article has given you plenty of ideas about how to use resistance bands while working out with your kids. We want to congratulate you on making a safe, conscientious, and health-forward decision for your family. Have fun together!