It may look like an oversize office supply, but with its simple, stretchy design, a resistance band is a versatile tool for strengthening the lower body. Why is that important for kids? "Strong leg and hip muscles are essential for walking, running, and playing many sports," says John Power, a personal trainer who often works with young athletes in his Northampton, Massachusetts, studio. The bands are best for kids ages 8 and up, he says, and should be low resistance.
With the band around her ankles, and feet facing forward, have her step sideways with one leg, then follow with the other leg. Do two sets of ten reps in each direction.
With the band around her thighs, and legs pressing outward, have her squat until her thighs are parallel to the ground, then return to a standing position. Do two sets of ten reps.
With the band around her ankles, have her lift one leg forward and up, then let it return. Do two sets of ten reps with each leg.
Originally published in the May 2013 issue of FamilyFun