In April 2014, I was invited to do an Outdoor Circuit for Year 6 Varsity College students on the Gold Coast teaching them the importance of stretching and functional exercises.
50% of the class did some sort of sport - touch football, soccer, netball - but what they were not sure of is what type of exercises to do before and after their game plus the meaning of 'functional exercise'. They learnt about doing Range of Motion (ROM) exercises before taking the field or court. As I was working with children it is important to make it fun - so instead of doing a jog around the basketball court or boring shoulder rolls they went into lines and went to the half way mark of the court doing high knees, crab walk, freestyle Olympic swimmers and other ROM exercises that warmed their muscles. It was fun and what made it more fun is that they looked silly, they felt silly but they couldn't stop laughing - little did they know they were warming up their little bodies.
Lastly, static stretches to cool down and relax the muscles used. Time to ask questions on what they learnt and what they will do next time they put their soccer shirt on or netball skirt.
Next was the circuit - squat press/twist was picking up a box and putting it on the shelf or picking up the groceries for mum and twisting to put them on the kitchen bench, lunging was helping to pick up younger siblings toys, step ups was grabbing the bottle of jam inm the top cupboard for mum, standing row with band taught them the importance of posture when sitting at their school desk and so on. Indian row (or Fruit Salad) was a cardio session incorporating team work with paired skipping a fun activity that most know and enjoy. Relating exercises to every life and activities gives the recognition of what they do each day - it also encourages them to help mum!