We are always looking for fun ways to do conditioning in our family. My kids are active, but I like to add (especially for my 11 year old) ways to increase strength, endurance and confidence. Right now we are enjoying the medicine ball. I would choose a smaller size to start with, and this can increase as they get comfortable with it. Right now my 11 year old uses a 4 or 6 lb ball, and my 7 year old uses a 4 lb ball. Here are 5 fun exercises with the medicine ball to start with:
Ball Toss with Partner
Start in an athletic stance with a strong base of support (knees bent, abdominals pulled in, avoid arching the back). Face your partner with about 10 feet between each other. Using both arms equally, toss the ball to your partner, aiming toward their chest. They will catch it and throw it right back to you. Throw it back and forth 10-20 times. After a few weeks, you can progress to 20-30 times. We do 2 sets of this.
Ball Toss with Squat
This is the ball toss above, but then add a squat after the ball is caught. When you squat, stick your bottom out and feel like you are sitting in an imaginary chair, so that your knees stay over your ankles. Don’t let your knees turn in or out, keep them aligned with your ankles. Do this 10-20 times. We do 2 sets of this.
Start in an athletic stance with a strong base of support (knees bent, abdominals pulled in, avoid arching the back). Hold the ball in front of your chest with your elbows up away from your body. Turn your upper body to the right holding the ball and watch your elbow move passed your hip. Control your form while moving back to the starting position, and then rotating to the left. Repeat 10-20 times.
This is similar to the Rotation above, but you start with the ball at your right hip, then rotate your upper body, while holding the ball and moving it diagonally up to finish above your left shoulder. Repeat this side 10 times. Then begin the other side starting with the medicine ball at your left hip, then rotate your upper body, while holding the ball and moving it diagonally up to finish above your right shoulder.
As long as you are comfortable in your regular plank, you can try this. Wrap your hands on the medicine ball, be sure you are stabilized, and move into your plank. We try our best to hold ours for a minute. Start with 20 -30 seconds, and add 5 seconds as you are comfortable.
Fun conditioning for you and your kids. Enjoy!!