Pilates exercises increase flexibility, boost muscle strength, balance, and coordination. As such, they’re an ideal choice for both children and adults.
Kids of all ages can try Pilates, regardless of fitness level or previous experience with athletic activities. Pilates consists of many exercises that are pretty simple to do and that don’t necessitate the use of additional equipment. If you want to get your children acquainted with this exercise methodology, here are the most important things to keep in mind.
Pilates Benefits for Children
The benefits of Pilates exercises go beyond increased muscle endurance and flexibility.
Pilates teaches children to focus. It puts a lot of emphasis on proper breathing and concentration. Also, mastering a specific exercise provides a massive sense of accomplishment.
Doing Pilates improves sleep quality, strengthens the immune response and can help for the prevention of childhood obesity. It increases the strength of the heart and the cardiovascular system, and it also makes kids feel energized throughout the day.
A final essential that’s particularly beneficial for kids is posture improvement. Pilates strengthens the muscles, benefits the joints and increases flexibility. Many kids today are used to sitting in front of their computer or being hunched over a tablet for hours. Such activities can have a detrimental impact on spine health and posture. The effect of that can be overcome through Pilates.
Teaching Kids Pilates: A Few Essential Tips for Beginners
The first and the most important thing you will need to accomplish is to make the exercise sessions fun.
Keeping the language simple, turning Pilates into a game or having a little backstory for each type of exercise will maintain the engagement level high. You will need to prepare in advance but if you do, little Pilates practitioners will enjoy the process, and they will want to do it again.
The right clothes are also of paramount importance. A child should feel comfortable. Anything that could potentially restrict their movement will lead to a loss of enjoyment. Some people prefer to practice Pilates in their bare feet, but for a start, comfortable sneakers will do.
An instructor should be extremely cautious about form and teaching children the right routine. Pilates is a slow form of exercise, and it’s all about doing the sequences correctly. Otherwise, there will be some risk of injuries. It is best to demonstrate the movement and once children attempt to do it, walk around the room to ensure correct execution.
A Few Other Things to Remember
Since Pilates routines are slow, they may seem easy in the beginning. Still, the exercises can get progressively difficult.
Start with some of the simpler options before moving on to more complex routines. A few exercises that most kids will be capable of mastering include plank, single leg stretch, mountain pose, downward dog, crescent pose, bridge and seated twist. When these are mastered to perfection, you can move on to more complex and physically-demanding sequences.
Take it easy and if necessary continue to improve on movements when teaching Pilates to young exercise enthusiasts. Modify the routines to meet the needs and the interests of the group. Slow it down, have a laugh and get kids involved. With time, you will notice remarkable progress.
To help you find everything you need to help provide your Pilates instruction to kids, including clothing, machines and equipment, music, books and more; here is a online Pilates resource you can use.