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Fun ways for dd9 to build upper body strength?


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Dd has poor core and upper body strength. She is hypermobile and has a swayback. I wouldn't have noticed it, if it weren't for her dance teacher mentioning it.

 

I guess all of those years where she wouldn't ride a bike or do a cartwheel or go across the monkey bars should have been a warning. She should have been out there climbing and playing more.

 

In the last few weeks, she has learned those things, except maybe a good cartwheel. :D We have spent more time at the playground and she is taking ballet 4 times a week. Thankfully, she has really strong feet and legs. ;)

 

So back to my original question. What other fun things (without her realizing it) can she do to build upper body/core strength? As the weather gets cooler, I'll need indoor ideas!

 

Thanks in advance!

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exercise ball. Have her sit on it and balance on it -- keep her legs off the ground and see if she can keep it still. My core has strengthened dramatically with little work. My younger daughter can kneel on the ball and move around the room. I tried it and about fell on my butt because I'm not as strong as she is :) She sits on the ball A LOT!

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wheel barrel - one person hold her feet as she moves along the floor on her hands for as long as she can.

 

push-ups (incline is easier, maybe on an upper step) and seated dips on a chair (arms bend and straighten as bottom goes past the seat of the chair)

 

hand stand against the wall (hold for as long as her upper body can handle)

 

yoga for upper body

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Oh my goodness! I LOVE you all! Thank you so much for the diverse and wonderful ideas!!

 

 

You can hang a bar swing in a doorway (or from a ceiling if you're able). On a platform sing, hang off and do something (draw, puzzle, just push around on hands). Sit on an exercise ball (core).

 

If i think of more i'll come back.

 

A bar swing? Off to figure out what that is!

 

exercise ball. Have her sit on it and balance on it -- keep her legs off the ground and see if she can keep it still. My core has strengthened dramatically with little work. My younger daughter can kneel on the ball and move around the room. I tried it and about fell on my butt because I'm not as strong as she is :) She sits on the ball A LOT!

 

This sounds like a winner, because it can help both of us! Is there a certain size or brand I should be considering?

 

wheel barrel - one person hold her feet as she moves along the floor on her hands for as long as she can.

 

push-ups (incline is easier, maybe on an upper step) and seated dips on a chair (arms bend and straighten as bottom goes past the seat of the chair)

 

hand stand against the wall (hold for as long as her upper body can handle)

 

yoga for upper body

 

Lots of good ideas here. I bet she would have trouble with wheel barrows. She's not very good at push-ups at all.

 

Swimming. My swimmer has abs you would not believe. Some swim teams have winter programs that do not require a year-long commitment. They are basically designed to train the kids for summer league teams, not USA swim meets.

 

Terri

 

This is actually a wonderful idea, but I'm not sure if we can fit it in our schedule. She dances 4 times a week and it is 45 minutes away. My others are just as busy. Hmm...

 

Gymnastics has really helped both my oldest kiddos with their upper body strength!

 

This also should have rung a bell. She NEVER wanted to take gymnastics. At this point, she would be embarrassed. She can't even hold a bridge for more than an awkward few seconds. Can't do a handstand or headstand. I am totally psyched, though, that she is trying cartwheels every night and throws some attempts at a handstand now. She did that all on her own. I actually wonder if learning to ride the bike, which she does for a long time every day, helped jumpstart her.

 

My dd8 is also a dancer and the thing that helped her the most was the Yoga program on our Wii Fit Plus. She did it diligently last summer and even her dance teacher noticed how much better her core strength had gotten!

 

Fabulous. She may just love this. ;)

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kneeling bball....shoot ball into trash can or pass to teammate

climbing trees

 

My boys would love to help her with the kneeling ball! Fun idea. No good climbing trees in our yard. I'm not sure she is even brave enough. :001_huh:

 

Swimming! Teach her fly!

 

By fly, do you mean chest fly exercises? She might like that while sitting on the exercise ball! Thanks.

 

Rock climbing.

 

I could try this, but I think she'd have to build up enough strength first. She gives up very easily on things she knows will be too difficult.

Edited by lisabees
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Dd has poor core and upper body strength. She is hypermobile and has a swayback. I wouldn't have noticed it, if it weren't for her dance teacher mentioning it.

 

I guess all of those years where she wouldn't ride a bike or do a cartwheel or go across the monkey bars should have been a warning. She should have been out there climbing and playing more.

 

In the last few weeks, she has learned those things, except maybe a good cartwheel. :D We have spent more time at the playground and she is taking ballet 4 times a week. Thankfully, she has really strong feet and legs. ;)

 

So back to my original question. What other fun things (without her realizing it) can she do to build upper body/core strength? As the weather gets cooler, I'll need indoor ideas!

 

Thanks in advance!

 

A kid can get an awesome upper body and core workout using a rubber medicine ball (like this one from Walmart that is less than $11 for a 4 lb ball):

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cap-Barbell-Rubber-Medicine-Ball/11099784

 

There are dozens of videos on YouTube that demonstrate a wide variety of exercises that can be done with medicine balls. My son made huge leaps in his upper body/core strength this year using a medicine ball for exercise.

 

Bill

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A kid can get an awesome upper body and core workout using a rubber medicine ball (like this one from Walmart that is less than $11 for a 4 lb ball):

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cap-Barbell-Rubber-Medicine-Ball/11099784

 

There are dozens of videos on YouTube that demonstrate a wide variety of exercises that can be done with medicine balls. My son made huge leaps in his upper body/core strength this year using a medicine ball for exercise.

 

Bill

 

I've heard of these balls! Thank you! Would you recommend a 4 lb ball for a 9 year old? Can you recommend a few exercises that your son liked the most? Off to check out youtube.

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I've heard of these balls! Thank you! Would you recommend a 4 lb ball for a 9 year old? Can you recommend a few exercises that your son liked the most? Off to check out youtube.

 

My son (8) started this year with a 4 lb ball. For most of the exercises it is better to use good form rather than lifting more gross weight with bad form. I am now (that he has worked out and gotten stronger) begun to consider getting him a 6 lb ball, but my guess is the 4 lb ball is what you would want for a start.

 

For exercises, the variety is great. Some favorites include the "Russian Twist," and the "Woodchopper." We also do a lot of "catch" doing chest-passes (at ever increasing distances. He uses the ball to do push-ups. Jumpes with it on to benches. These are fun because you can slam them on the ground and they bounce, so you can run and slam them and catch them, or run and throw the up in the air and catch them on the run. Or just improvise.

 

I liked his so much I got myself an 8 pounder for myself. The ones we have are Nike Exercise Balls. The Nike 4 pounders have completely disappeared from the market, but these others look similar.

 

If you search YouTube you can find dozens and dozens of ideas for medicine ball workouts. Plusses of this sort of workout include being fun, it works many muscle groups at the same time (rather than weight lifting that tends to isolate muscle groups, it is effective, and that the equipment is minimalistic and not dangerous.

 

Bill

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My son (8) started this year with a 4 lb ball. For most of the exercises it is better to use good form rather than lifting more gross weight with bad form. I am now (that he has worked out and gotten stronger) begun to consider getting him a 6 lb ball, but my guess is the 4 lb ball is what you would want for a start.

 

For exercises, the variety is great. Some favorites include the "Russian Twist," and the "Woodchopper." We also do a lot of "catch" doing chest-passes (at ever increasing distances. He uses the ball to do push-ups. Jumpes with it on to benches. These are fun because you can slam them on the ground and they bounce, so you can run and slam them and catch them, or run and throw the up in the air and catch them on the run. Or just improvise.

 

I liked his so much I got myself an 8 pounder for myself. The ones we have are Nike Exercise Balls. The Nike 4 pounders have completely disappeared from the market, but these others look similar.

 

If you search YouTube you can find dozens and dozens of ideas for medicine ball workouts. Plusses of this sort of workout include being fun, it works many muscle groups at the same time (rather than weight lifting that tends to isolate muscle groups, it is effective, and that the equipment is minimalistic and not dangerous.

 

Bill

 

Thanks Bill! I am very excited about using the ball myself! I have time to go shopping today, which I normally hate to do!

 

By fly I meant swimming butterfly.

 

:blush: Oops. Thanks.

 

We have a pullup bar in our bedroom and all the kids love to play around with it. My 2yo can actually almost do a pullup on his own, complete with little Monica Seles-esque grunts.

 

Ha! Just remembered my oldest son has one in his room!!

 

Get a kayak! (Or just rent one for the day)

 

Belly dancing is great for core strength, but children's classes are rare. Pilates works those same core muscles, but it's a lot less fun and 'accidental' than working them with dance.

 

Ohh kayaking sounds like fun. :001_smile: Not belly dancing, but...she returned home from a b-day party yesterday with a hula hoop. She has been going non-stop. Will that help those deep inner muscles? I had already looked for kids Pilates classes within a half hour from us. Nothing. :(

 

 

I am so grateful to all of you. I am excited by ALL of these possibilities!

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You might like to get a PT or OT eval and have them guide you. Even once a month sessions would work. The way you work someone with tone and hypermobility issues is a bit different, because you're not trying to increase just strength but also tone. You work much longer sets than normal, because it takes more reps to get through and build tone. Like they'll have you do the same exercise (with a weight ball or with toning bands), but you'll do it for a much longer time than normal. They might also have her do some things for bilaterality, vestibular, etc. The delayed bike riding can be indication of issues with those things. It's stuff you can work on at home, yes, but you'll work with more information if you get an eval first. Also they can help you identify joints that are going to be prone to repetitive motion injury, etc. so you can make informed choices about future activities.

 

Your ped is the one who can check and give you the referral for the OT/PT.

 

Horse-riding is super good for core btw.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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exercise ball. Have her sit on it and balance on it -- keep her legs off the ground and see if she can keep it still. My core has strengthened dramatically with little work. My younger daughter can kneel on the ball and move around the room. I tried it and about fell on my butt because I'm not as strong as she is :) She sits on the ball A LOT!

:iagree: with building the core - everything becomes much easier with a good core. for those with naturally low muscle tone, it becomes even more important.

the 'balance' ball, horseback riding, yoga (there are kids yoga dvds), pilates, etc. will build core.

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I second the rock climbing recommendation. It is great for the core muscles, arm and upper back muscles and just plain fun. What I love about climbing is that it isn't about how many reps you do, but about solving a problem with your body. Her dance background may make this a good fit because climbing isn't all about strength, it is about balance and movement as well.

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You might like to get a PT or OT eval and have them guide you. Even once a month sessions would work. The way you work someone with tone and hypermobility issues is a bit different, because you're not trying to increase just strength but also tone. You work much longer sets than normal, because it takes more reps to get through and build tone. Like they'll have you do the same exercise (with a weight ball or with toning bands), but you'll do it for a much longer time than normal. They might also have her do some things for bilaterality, vestibular, etc. The delayed bike riding can be indication of issues with those things. It's stuff you can work on at home, yes, but you'll work with more information if you get an eval first. Also they can help you identify joints that are going to be prone to repetitive motion injury, etc. so you can make informed choices about future activities.

 

Your ped is the one who can check and give you the referral for the OT/PT.

 

Horse-riding is super good for core btw.

 

Thank you Elizabeth. I will definitely consider that. I love our local physical therapist. :001_smile:

 

:iagree: with building the core - everything becomes much easier with a good core. for those with naturally low muscle tone, it becomes even more important.

the 'balance' ball, horseback riding, yoga (there are kids yoga dvds), pilates, etc. will build core.

 

I don't think we have time to add horseback riding, but I will start yoga and pilates dvds myself. She'll definitely want to join in. As a side effect, I may see a difference in my middle aged body!

 

I second the rock climbing recommendation. It is great for the core muscles, arm and upper back muscles and just plain fun. What I love about climbing is that it isn't about how many reps you do, but about solving a problem with your body. Her dance background may make this a good fit because climbing isn't all about strength, it is about balance and movement as well.

 

 

You've convinced me to check it out. There are a couple of local gyms that have rock climbing. Thanks!

 

 

Yesterday, I bought a medicine ball and installed the workout bar in the kitchen doorway! I never told her what they were for, but she has being using both happily. Actually, we all have. The stability ball should arrive in the mail tomorrow. DD continues to try her cartwheels and is enjoying the new hula hoop. I will be trying almost all of your ideas. What a help! Thank you. :001_smile:

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You can hang a bar swing in a doorway (or from a ceiling if you're able). On a platform sing, hang off and do something (draw, puzzle, just push around on hands). Sit on an exercise ball (core).

 

If i think of more i'll come back.

 

We have a pull up bar that dh installed in our kitchen doorway. It has different grips on it for different ways of pulling up. You would not believe how much use that bar gets. It's been up for months and it still gets used every day. One dd in particular has had great improvement in upper body strength.

 

I agree with OhE about getting the hypermobility, etc., checked out. It's worth mentioning to your pediatrician since there are things that go along with it that you may want to monitor. We have that in our family, so it's been on my radar, too.

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For outside a "Twizzler Swing" is good. We also have a 'pull up bar'. Read reviews for the pull up bars. There are some made from adults and some that are geared for kids (which have the bar screwed into the door frame so less likely to have an accident).

 

My DD wouldn't do rock climbing - afraid of heights. She likes the exercise balls - you have to be careful with some kids will bounce off of them into walls or sharp objects.

 

Small trampolines is another idea.

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Yesterday, I bought a medicine ball and installed the workout bar in the kitchen doorway! I never told her what they were for, but she has being using both happily. Actually, we all have. The stability ball should arrive in the mail tomorrow. DD continues to try her cartwheels and is enjoying the new hula hoop. I will be trying almost all of your ideas. What a help! Thank you. :001_smile:

 

I hope you guys enjoy the medicine ball. If you toss it back and forth you might get stronger too ;) :D

 

Since these are heavy do be careful at first so as not to get hit in the face due to the unexpected weight.

 

Pull up bars are cool too.

 

Bill

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These are great ideas.

 

If you're looking for something simple and indoors, my (monkey) boys like to climb up the inside of a doorway. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it, so here's a picture:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRkvzM4b6_7BTjFgPmGn9COc0H73OnmXYufrcsQVcZlEOfVpCpPhg

 

That makes me laugh. It is so totally my boy.

 

Bill

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These are great ideas.

 

If you're looking for something simple and indoors, my (monkey) boys like to climb up the inside of a doorway. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it, so here's a picture:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRkvzM4b6_7BTjFgPmGn9COc0H73OnmXYufrcsQVcZlEOfVpCpPhg

 

Love that picture! I have pics of my now 13 year old son doing that!! DD tried it the other day and cannot do it at all. Ha! Maybe that can be the goal. :D

 

We have a pull up bar that dh installed in our kitchen doorway. It has different grips on it for different ways of pulling up. You would not believe how much use that bar gets. It's been up for months and it still gets used every day. One dd in particular has had great improvement in upper body strength.

 

I agree with OhE about getting the hypermobility, etc., checked out. It's worth mentioning to your pediatrician since there are things that go along with it that you may want to monitor. We have that in our family, so it's been on my radar, too.

 

My family is enjoying the pull up bar in the kitchen, too. An orthopedic doctor first mentioned that she was bendy/hypermobile. I just didn't realize it would affect anything other than her feet (which is why we were there).

 

For outside a "Twizzler Swing" is good. We also have a 'pull up bar'. Read reviews for the pull up bars. There are some made from adults and some that are geared for kids (which have the bar screwed into the door frame so less likely to have an accident).

 

My DD wouldn't do rock climbing - afraid of heights. She likes the exercise balls - you have to be careful with some kids will bounce off of them into walls or sharp objects.

 

Small trampolines is another idea.

 

Love the twizzler swing! She would, too!

 

Oh my! My teenage boys would go crazy with a small trampoline in the house!

 

I haven't read the other responses so this may be a repeat. I bought some game cards and ds likes them. Easy to do throughout the day.

 

Oh fun! Thanks. ;)

 

The entire family is enjoying the pull up bar, the medicine ball and the stability balls! Thanks so much for all of your suggestions. Love them all. :001_smile:

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I must confess, it's a busy morning, so I didn't read all the replies! If this is a duplicate, just ignore it...........

 

Ds (9) also has core / upper body weakness. It became quite noticeable as he was moving up the ranks in martial arts. The absolute BEST exercise to build core / upper body strength is a good, old-fashioned PLANK! Get in a push up position, elbows in, glutes tucked in, and hold the position as long as you can. We made a game of it. Started out with a minute and worked our way up. He's up to about a 3 1/2 - 4 min plank now!!

 

Hope you find something that works for her!

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If she sticks with the cartwheels and other tumbling exercises (even basic ones like cartwheel and handstand with a spot) it will develop strength.

 

My daughter drills herself daily (she is a highly motivated dancer who wants to improve) with things like pushup jumps- get in pushup position and then jump using both feet and both hands about 2 inches to the right... repeat-- she tries to get 30 jumps one direction and then 30 jumps back.

 

She does the same thing in an elbow position (like a pushup but on elbows with arms criss-crossed in the front).

 

She hangs from a pull up bar and does vertical leg raises in pike position, straddle position, and tries to hold them at 90 degrees for 10 seconds at a time. Then she does pull-ups on the bar.

 

After your daughter masters the handstand, she can try holding them against the wall (we put a mattress against the wall) and try lowering down into a headstand and pushing back up.

 

Even forward rolls, pike rolls, straddle rolls, etc... those all build strength.

 

Hope some of those ideas help!

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The absolute BEST exercise to build core / upper body strength is a good, old-fashioned PLANK! Get in a push up position, elbows in, glutes tucked in, and hold the position as long as you can.

 

My DS sees an orthopedic doc twice a year for spinal issues. Both the doc and his PA agree that the plank is the best exercise for core strength.

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