Leg exercises for strength and agility

Standing up from a low step strengthens the hip and knee muscles. The height of the step is adjusted to make the exercise more difficult as the child gets stronger. 

Step ups are a good way to strengthen the leg extensor muscles for stair climbing and walking up a hill.  Done fast they also challenge balance and improve general fitness. 

training-stepping-down

Training program (with 4 levels of difficulty )for stepping down and going down a flight of steps.  

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The purpose of this exercise is to develop strength in the knee extensor and calf muscles starting slowly and increasing load over time to prevent injury to very weak muscles. 

Being able to stand on one leg is one of those skills  that children really value. If approached in a way that allows for success and a way to measure progress most children are willing to spend time practicing to improve their level of skill.

In this exercise the child stands on one leg supporting lightly on the hands and then claps the hands to encourage standing on one leg  without any support.

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This is a starter exercise for children who have difficulty standing on one leg. Standing with one leg on a box and supporting with one hand get the hip and foot muscles working.   

This is a great exercise for training arms strength and endurance. The neck,back and tummy muscles also have to work really hard to hold the head and trunk steady. The ankle muscles have to work to maintain balance.

Bridging exercises are good for strengthening the hip and back extensor muscles.  They are particularly helpful for training the back and hip muscles to work together in swimming crawl and backstroke.

Bridging can also be used to actively stretch tightness the iliotibial band often seen in children with joint hypermobility. 

In these exercises the child makes a series of small jumps on a set of mats laid out in a line on the floor. 

Doing small  jumps repeatedly is good for developing calf muscle strength and for getting effective foot and ankle push off when jumping.

In this exercise the child is encouraged to do 2 foot jumps across a distance of 6-10 meters, turn around and jump back again.  This is hard work and requires all out effort from the child.

Children naturally get fitter by doing short bursts of all out effort.  All out effort makes the heart beat really fast and cautious children often find this very scary and need reassurance that it is good for their heart to beat very fast and fell as if it is going to jump right out of the chest. 

In this exercise the child does big jumps taking off from and landing on a big cushion. The cushion helps to absorb some of the impact of landing from a big jump and gets the child accustomed to the sensations muscle  effort that happen when landing from a jump.

Doing 10 repetitions helps to increase muscle endurance and mental stamina for exercises that require effort. 

Hopping exercises are a great way to strengthen the ankle and knee muscles as well as for improving general fitness. 

Step-ups are a good way to improve leg muscle strength.

If your child has leg pain and muscles that tire very quickly, it is best to start slowly and progressively increase the load so as to increase strength and endurance without provoking pain or irritating lax  joint structures. 

These exercises are designed to train better alignment of the foot as well as active engagement of the ankle muscles to support the medial arch of the foot in children with flexible flat feet.

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From a very early age young children show an interest in kicking a ball. This early kicking practice is important as it teaches the child to predict the path and move towards a moving ball to be in the right place for a successful kick.

Lying on the back and kicking a large ball with one or two feet lifted up off the mat is a great way to get the abdominal muscles working to stabilize the trunk. The muscle that bend the hip (hip flexors) also work to lift the leg and hold the thigh steady in the middle so that the foot can be positioned for kicking the ball. 

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This is a set of exercises designed to improve the flexibility, strength and coordination of the hips and knees of children with generalized joint hypermobiltiy, particularly children who sit in W-sitting.

In these exercises the child practices lifting one leg to step over an obstacles. The emphasis is on keeping the knee and foot pointing forwards as the leg is lifted, as well as placing the foot down straight ratehr tan twisted inwards.