Stretching is one way to help loosen up those tight muscles of yours but if you think that it is only limited to adults, you should know that children can also benefit from a nice good stretch not only to keep their muscles strong but flexible too. Stretching should be done after the muscles are warmed up properly to avoid spraining or tearing the muscles. So before you let your child do any stretches, do some jogging, walking, or any activity that will get their heart rate up so they can get their muscles ready.
Here are some fun stretching workouts that are perfect for your kids. You might want to join in the fun too if you want.
- Child’s pose. This is one of the best stretches to get your kid started with. The child’s pose is an effective yoga pose that will help elongate the spine and to help them relax too. To perform this pose, let your child kneel with toes touching but knees spread apart. Bend over until the forehead is touching the mat. Arms can be placed at the sides or stretched in front of the head with palms pressed down on the mat. Inhale as well as exhale slowly and then deeply for 3 to 5 counts.
- Knee lunge. This exercise may appear like your child is stretching his legs but it’s more focused on the muscles of the groin. For this stretch, have your child kneel on the floor or a mat. While keeping the back straight, bring the left foot on the floor and lunge forward until the knee is at a 90 degree angle. Position hands or elbows on the left knee to help stabilize their body and hold for 10 to 30 seconds without them bouncing in place. Repeat the steps with the other leg.
- Calf stretch. For this stretch, have your child place his or her forarms against a wall while standing with one leg closer to the wall. Bring one leg back while the heel is pressed on the floor until they feel a nice stretch on the calf or at the back of the leg. Hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat the steps with the other leg.
- Straddle stretch. In this exercise, your child should sit down on the floor or a mat with legs spread apart as much as they want. Just make sure that the legs are spread comfortably. Bend over towards the right leg then back to the center. Bend towards the left then at the center. Have your child hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds preferably without bouncing. This stretch targets the inner thighs, hamstrings, and lower back.
- Shoulder stretch. If your child’s shoulders are a bit tight, the shoulder stretch can do wonders for them. Have your child raise his right arm and position the left wrist on the back of the right arm just above the elbow. The left palm should be facing out to the side. The left arm should press the right arm towards the chest gently to help stretch the shoulders. Hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds then release. Switch position of arms and repeat the steps mentioned.