I am going to start working with a 4th grader for the first time. And need help from experienced trainers with that age group. She’s not all that wild about the idea, so it has to be fun. I have all the typical toys: ropes, ladders, balls, sandbags/bells, etc. I have 30 years experience as a trainer, so don’t need basic trainer advice. just need a format and some tips to keep it moving. about her: she is on a swim team and takes hip-hop at the dance studio. Her mother is concerned about her weight and would like her to be influenced by the idea of exercise being fun.
You are so right that it will need to be fun. And one of the most important parts of making it fun is for you to have fun, too. I have worked with swimmers, divers, and gymnasts in this age group. I like to interact with them and do everything with them. It sounds like you will be one-on-one with this young lady, so it will be even more important for you to be doing things with her. Otherwise she will feel that you are just bossing her around. Swimming and dance are very dependent on core integration. Doing things that combine moves with added resistance in another plane of motion are great for this type of integration. Like doing squats facing each other (you can add music if you are good with moving to the beat). On the way down and up you can clap each others’ cross body hand several times. Once the clapping motion becomes easy, you could keep contact and push a little bit. Or you could stop and do a series of claps every few inches. And so on. Adding these multiple plane forces will really make it engaging and try to laugh it up a little and make it playful.
This is just a small peek into what is possible and how to draw less enthusiastic young people into enjoying fitness and exercise. I teach a CEC class for this and a lot more. If you are every going to be coming to the Big Island of Hawaii, get in touch with me. I would enjoy meeting you and giving you some more insights. You can email me at [email protected] as well and we can correspond. I am sure you have some great ideas to share as well. I hope you have some fun with your new client.