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Leg Exercises for Kids

author image Louise D E Jensen
Louise D E Jensen has written professionally since 1991. She has authored more than 12 books, has appeared on CTV news as a fitness and nutrition expert, and is featured in the "Globe and Mail." She holds degrees in dietetics and epidemiology from the University of British Colombia and the University of Toronto.
Leg Exercises for Kids
Jumping jacks build strong legs and are fun to do.

Ensuring that your child does a range of leg exercises can help him build needed muscle. In addition to maintaining healthy fitness levels, leg exercises for children can also help with sports by reducing the risk of injury. Bodyweight exercises for kids are ideal, as they will not excessively strain your child's young muscles and will help instill good exercise habits.

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The Basic Squat

The basic squat is an easy bodyweight exercise that builds strength in your child's glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles. The exercise is safe for children to do, but make sure that their knees never extend past their toes. Have your child stand with their feet hip-width apart, hands on the hips, and slowly sink down, bending at their knees and hips. Make sure their back is straight, and have them sink as low as possible without letting their knees go past the ends of their toes. Have them slowly rise back to standing position, and repeat 10 times for two sets.

Calf Raises

Calf raises strengthen your child's calf muscles, which tend to get less attention than the thigh or hip muscles. With their feet spaced hip-width apart, have your child place their hands on their hips and lift their heels off the ground. Standing on the balls of their feet for eight seconds, slowly lower back down, returning their feet to the floor. Repeat 10 times for three sets.

Leg Raises

Lying leg raises are a classic leg exercise, as they build strength in your child's hip and thigh muscles. Lying on the left side of their body, have them place their right leg over the top of their left, keeping the body fully extended and straight. Lying with their head resting on their left arm for support, lift the right leg straight up into the air. Have them raise their leg as high as possible, forming a 90-degree angle between their legs if it is not too challenging. Have them slowly lower their right leg back down onto their left before repeating the raise 10 times for three sets per leg.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are a high-energy exercise that builds all of your child's leg and hip muscles while also working their upper body muscles and giving them a good cardio workout. Standing with their arms along the sides of their body, tell them to keep their legs together and their back straight. Have your child “jump” up by pushing off the ground with both feet and raising both their arms out to the side at the same time, so that their legs spread open in an upside down “V” shape. Have them and with their legs in an inverted “V” shape. Their feet should be spread shoulder-width apart, and their arms need to be fully extended upwards along the side of their head. Jumping again, have them bring their arms and legs back alongside their body, returning to starting position. This is one jumping jack. Have them do 10 jumping jacks for three sets.

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