This particular circuit allows for a cardio-vascular work out followed by a strengthening task. It can be easily adapted to suit the ages and needs of your children.
I set up the stations below going in a clockwise direction around the hall. We begin with 20 seconds on each station, and we change very quickly, no rest! That’s why I have built in alternating stations, it allows for a rest.
We then build up in 5-second intervals, until we have reached the maximum of 30 secs. They quickly learn that their only competition is themselves, and work really hard to do more each time.
I work the children in pairs, getting them to rotate anti-clockwise after each activity. 1. Line jumps: Jumping across a line, making sure that the whole foot touches the floor. Adaptation: skipping.
2. Squats: with backs against a wall, slide down so that the legs are bent and the knees are bent at 90º. Adaptation: squat without the wall, making sure there is a straight line from ankle to knee and that bottom goes out behind the feet, back straight.
3. Star jumps or jumping jacks: the movement of arms above the head makes it a much harder workout. Jumps may be slow or fast, depending on the ability of the child. BEND KNEES on landing, making sure knees don’t go further than toes.
4. Bean bag hold: arms are parallel to the floor and they have to hold the beanbags up for the whole time. This exercise can be made more difficult by asking the children to slowly rotate their arms!
5. Running on the spot: if children have bare feet, make sure this is done on a thin, gymnastic mat. Again this can be made harder by encouraging the children to get their knees higher.
6. Ball roll or hoop-la-hoop: the idea is to exercise the waist and stomach. They can either roll a football around their waists, making a large circle with their hips at the same time (large range of movement), or they can twirl a hoop around their waist. The boys tend to prefer the ball rolls. This can be made more difficult by using a small ball/ different shape ball etc.
Note: If you have a helper or two, you should record your children’s’ scores as they progress around the circuit. Over the weeks you can then work out how each child has progressed and congratulate them on their success. In this way, you add value and interest to the circuit training. You are also emphasising how much you value hard work and improvement and not just technical excellence.