Coaches, I know what you’re saying. Sure, Wendy, you’ve told us core fitness is essential. You’ve shown us how to do core fitness with the exercise ball. You’ve inspired us with your planking ability – oh wait, that was Alan Webb. These are great home exercises for the exercise video set and the really diligent fitness fanatic. But I’ve got 15 knuckleheads for maybe 90 minutes out on a big grass field. How can I do core fitness with them? Glad you asked.
Your kids bring their bodies with them to practice and probably a soccer ball. That’s all you need. Pretend the field is just one big yoga mat or playground. Your choice. The kids came for the fun of the game, so take the “home workout” routine and make it kid fun- friendly. How?
- Make it competitive
- Make it a team event
- Make it tricky or challenging.
Kids love all three. They’ll never know it’s a “workout.” Here’s some ideas to get you started:
- compete for time – who can hold it the longest (no slouching)
- plank with both hands on the ball or with feet on the ball
- forearm plank and have teammate add “extra resistance” by taking a seat (gently)
- plank head to head and tag your opponent to earn a point( *See photo)
- plank as a “passing gate” – spread the field and have kids’ planking as the gates (Let the gates move if you dare but watch the fingers. this can get very competitive!)
2. With a Ball
- push ups on the ball (traditional)
- bridge ups on the ball (one foot on ball and one presses up)
- ball relays – pass over and under, around left and around right
- reverse curls with ball held between the feet (challenge: pass the ball to partner standing over head who passes under to next players feet) (*See photo)
3. Bodies only – maybe a cone or 2
- Russian hamstrings – kneeling with teammates holding ankles, lean without bending at the waist (mostly hams but core must stay firm)
- Wheelbarrow races – favors a strong and immovable core in the “front man” walking on hands
- Shoving gauntlet – form 2 lines and have teammates partner up and shoulder challenge the length of the gauntlet (points if you can muscle your man over the line)
I hope these will get you started. If you’re in the Virginia/Maryland/DC region, Fit2Finish would love to come work with you and your team on core fitness the fun way. It’s the foundation for strong and safe play. And essential when games and life get tough. Contact Fit2Finish for more information or to schedule your team.