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Video:Building Upper Body Strength in Children

with Kathy Moore

Children today are not as strong as in the past, particularly in their upper bodies. It's never too early to start teaching better balance and coordination, especially when you have fun in the process.See Transcript

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Transcript:Building Upper Body Strength in Children

Hi I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Many kids today are not as strong in their upper bodies as in the past. Researchers say this trend is most likely due to changing lifestyles that have kids sitting and playing video games instead of engaging in active, outdoor play. This program offers some fun activities to help your child develop large muscle control, especially for the upper arms.

Stand up for a Stronger Upper Body

Did you know that when children play in a standing position they are building the muscle groups that increase balance, coordination and strength? There are plenty of playground activities that do this, such as going up and down a firemans pole or climbing on monkey bars. Younger kids can climb a ladder to the slide and turn a steering wheel.

Strenthen During all Activities

At home, instead of always drawing or reading books in a sitting position, try having your child lay on his tummy, propped up on his elbows. Or, when he wants to paint or color, put the paper on an easel or tape it to a wall. This change of position will strengthen his muscles without him even knowing it.

Games for Upper Body Strength

You can also increase your child's fine motor skills and hand eye coordination by letting her pour water from a pitcher into a glass, or have her practice balancing a strawberry or potato on a spoon while walking.

Strengthening by Example

In our house, playtime provides an opportunity for strength training, too. We play the mirror game by having the kids mirror the movements I make, like making big circles in the air with my arms and hands. Hand clapping songs are another fun way to increase movement and develop fine motor skills.

With a little help and encouragement from you, your kids can increase their strength and agility. The stronger your child's muscles are, the more prepared he will be to tackle the thousands of challenges that lie ahead him in life.

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