Mighty Kids: Help Develop Physical Balance

Sign up for a martial arts class. Your child will learn the coordination and precise timing of self-defense and slowly build physical strength through kicking, jumping, balancing and footwork.

In the world of physical fitness, there are six skill-related components: agility, coordination, power, reaction time, speed and balance. Defined as the ability to maintain one’s equilibrium, balance is essential for both static (stationary) and dynamic (moving) activities. But, as with any skill, the level of proficiency varies greatly from person to person.

Here are 6 ways to teach your child physical balance:

  1. Stand on a trampoline with one foot. The object is simple. Tell your child, “don’t fall down!” You can later increase the level of difficulty by walking or jumping on the trampoline alongside your child as he or she tries to maintain balance.
  2. Build your own obstacle course. Include hurdles to climb under, crawl through or jump over. Time each child and let each try to beat his own time. Once your children have mastered the course, raise the hurdles or widen the jumps to keep it challenging and interesting.
  3. Sit on an exercise ball. Have your child sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair while coloring, playing a board game, or eating (although eating may get a bit messy). Challenge your child to keep both feet from touching the floor unless absolutely necessary.
  4. Walk a “tightrope.” Create a tightrope with tape, string, or chalk. For beginners, place two lines a few inches apart. Once this is mastered, narrow the path to increase the level of difficulty. Later you can elevate the challenge by using a wooden plank raised slightly off the ground.
  5. Close your eyes while doing any of the above exercises. Vision and balance are tied together very closely in the body, thus the challenges increase exponentially.
  6. Invest in a pogo stick. The pogo stick has been around since 1918, almost 100 years. It remains popular because it provides an all-over body workout. Use it to strengthen your child’s back and core muscles while also toning his or her legs. 

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