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  • February 22, 2023 3 min read

    Get your kids into calisthenics to avoid child obesity

    Easy calisthenics exercises your kids can do to grow up fit and healthy

    It’s never been easier for kids to be too sedentary (with all the risks that brings). What’s the best way to ensure our kids get active and stay moving throughout childhood?

    How can you make sure your kids are active in an age-appropriate way that they’ll enjoy, which won’t do them any harm? Nobody wants to be a pushy parent, making their kids do sport they don’t enjoy. But equally nobody wants to overlook the very real risks of childhood inactivity and obesity. 

    Is calisthenics good for kids?

     Calisthenics isn’t just the fancy stuff like human flags and planches that you see famous calisthenics athletes doing. At its essence, calisthenics is simply bodyweight exercises like push ups, bodyweight squats, and pull ups.

    Calisthenics is a great choice of resistance training exercise for kids. It builds strong bones and muscles without heavy weights, and taps into children’s innate sense of movement. Calisthenics is closely linked with play – it’s about moving your body in different ways and exploring what it can do.

    Can young kids do calisthenics?

    Even very young children can do calisthenics. Think about “tumble tots” – a lot of that is bodyweight movements very similar to calisthenics. There is no lower age limit for children and calisthenics. Children can start doing low-level calisthenics movements and gradually progress up through more challenging variations as they grow in strength and confidence.

    Do kids need a coach or a class for calisthenics?

    There are plenty of calisthenics classes around for kids of all ages, but your child doesn’t need to enroll in a class or course. They can start doing calisthenics at home with no equipment at all.

     If you have a home gym, make sure you’ve got a few basic bits of calisthenics kit like a pull up bar or rig, gymnastics rings, and parallettes  – your kids will love playing around with them!

    How can kids get into calisthenics?

    Calisthenics is rooted in basic bodyweight movements. If you think your child would enjoy exploring calisthenics, set aside some time to help them learn how to do 5-10 fundamental exercises (we’ll list some below).

     Only you will know how your child best likes to learn and engage with new hobbies. Perhaps they’d enjoy specific challenges and targets, or maybe they’d like to join you in a workout?

     5 reasons calisthenics is great for kids

     

    1. Builds strength without weights – calisthenics is a form of resistance training which helps build stronger bones and muscles, but without using external weights (not that there’s anything wrong with this for young people).
    1. Helps them become confident in their body – calisthenics asks kids to master bodyweight movements, balance, and co-ordination all of which gives them a sense of confidence in their body at important developmental stages 
    1. Encourages play and creative expression – calisthenics has no set rules, it’s all about seeing what your body is capable of. This acts as a valuable outlet for children’s curiosity and creativity 
    1. Facilitates more movement throughout the day – childhood obesity is on the rise, and calisthenics is a fantastic way to add functional movement to your child’s day (whether or not they also do any organised sport)
    1. Instils positive associations with exercise – getting your child involved in calisthenics will get them into healthy habits that can carry through into teenage and adult years

    How to get your kids started with calisthenics

     Calisthenics involves pulling and pushing movements, jumping and rolling, twisting, balancing and squatting. Here are the 10 best calisthenics movements your kids can do.

    Air squats/bodyweight squats

    Lunges – static forwards/backwards, or walking lunges

    Planks

    Mountain climbers

    Press ups

    Dead hangs

    Ring rows

    Superman

    Hanging knee raises

    Bear crawls

    Does my child need any special calisthenics equipment?

    Your child doesn’t need any special equipment to do calisthenics, but if you are in the market for adding a few pieces of kit to your home gym, check out our quality gymnastics rings, parallettes, and pull up bars. They’ll all be a great addition to your children’s calisthenics playground. All available on the Gravity Fitness online store here.