Kids just want to have fun and it is possible to show them how to enjoy exercise while improving their health and fitness. A Fitness “ABCS” class will include the fundamentals of fitness as well as the following components:
- Agility, Balance, Coordination and Strength training drills
- Introduction to the basic components of fitness—cardiovascular, endurance and strength
- Motor skills development and enhancement
- Sports skills and drills
- Fitness games
Fitness ABCS Details
FORMAT: A structured group fitness class for boys and girls ages 6–10. A 10:1 student to instructor ratio is ideal to ensure that individual attention can be achieved during class.
TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes.
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: Agility ladders, hoops and dots, mini hurdles, balance pods, BOSU®, stability balls, light medicine balls, bean bags, cones and resistance tubes.
MUSIC: Choose high-energy contemporary music that is not too fast paced so kids can focus on the drills and exercises.
Warm-Up (5 minutes)
Have children line up and perform basic locomotor movements and drills from one end of the room to the other, repeating each several times:
- Jogging (forward and backward)
- High knees
- “Butt kicks”
- Lateral slides
Progress to more advanced compound movements to recruit major muscle groups:
- Run to end of room, touch the floor, run back
- Run to end of room, squat 5 times, run back
- Run to end of room, jump 5 times, run back
Complete the warm-up with an easy jog around the room a few times, followed by simple stretches of the major muscle groups.
ABCS Section (30 minutes)
Choose 3–5 drills for each of the ABCS. Demonstrate each drill and have kids practice multiple times while encouraging them and correcting their technique. It is a good idea to create an “ABCS Menu” of exercises and choose several each class to work on.
- Ladder: Walk/run 1 foot and 2 feet in each “hole” (alternate the lead foot)
- Ladder: Straddles “in-in/out-out” each “hole” and side of ladder (alternate the lead foot)
- Mini Hurdles: 1 foot and 2 feet in each “hole” (Mini hurdles enhance an athlete’s speed, agility, quickness and power. They are only 6 inches high, which makes them ideal for children. They are a fun tool to include in circuit training, relay races and obstacle courses. They are made of durable, molded PVC plastic and designed to withstand frequent use.)
- Mini Hurdles: Weave through/around
- Cones: Shuttle run with 3–5 cones
- Hop into and out of ladder, holding balance on 1 foot
- Standing on pods on 1 foot and moving through patterns
- Standing on BOSU—2 feet, 1 foot
- Squat on BOSU
- BOSU Line Drills: Line up multiple BOSU and have kids walk over the BOSU with 1 foot on each, 2 feet on each, lateral walking over each, straddling up and down over each
- Partner Drill: Bounce and chest pass stability ball or other ball back and forth while standing on 1 foot
- Bean bag toss with hoops set up on floor
- Ring toss with cones
- “Bowling” with cones and balls
- Body Weight: Squats, lunges, (modified) push-ups, abdominal crunches, plank
- Stability Ball: Wall squats, push-ups with legs on ball
- Resistance Tubing: Back rows, chest press, bicep curls
- Medicine Ball: Overhead press, chest pass with partner
Circuit Training Section (10 minutes)
After the kids have completed each drill, create a circuit with 4–6 stations highlighting the drills worked on in class and including at least one each for Agility, Balance, Coordination and Strength. The children can work in pairs moving through the circuit. Determine the time to perform each station, 30–60 seconds, and how much rest, if any, between stations. Have children perform the same circuit 2–3 times or change drills each time and perform up to three different circuits with rest and a water break in between. This component will also enhance their cardiovascular endurance.
Fitness Games (10 minutes)
While the Fitness ABCS class is overall a fun experience, the kids have been working hard performing their drills and circuits. Now for some real fun, that will sneak in some more cardiovascular conditioning!
Obstacle Course: Make an obstacle course out of one the stations you created for the circuit. Example: Start, run to Ladder perform 1 foot in each hole drill, run to hoops and straddle through, to hurdles and weave through, to BOSU, stand on top and touch toes three times, and run back to start.
Relay Races: Example: Have kids in pairs or teams, set up colored cones down a line and have kids take turns picking up cones and bringing them back to their start. (Note: You can also use the obstacle course for relay races).
Cool-Down and Stretch (5 minutes)
Have kids walk around the room bringing their heart rates down and then perform a few stretches of the muscles worked during class. During the cool-down, take the opportunity to talk to the children and get some feedback. Ask questions: “What was your favorite part of class today? Your least favorite? Why? How do you feel when you exercise? What other activities are you participating in outside of class that you enjoy?
Finish the class with some deep breaths and a round of applause for everyone.