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Training Program for Kids: Introduction to Fitness Goals

Designing a training program for kids that emphasizes consistency, moderation, and safety is crucial. Here's a sample introductory training program tailored for kids with low-volume, low-intensity exercises, limited to 2-3 days per week:

Introduce kids to the concept of fitness in a safe and enjoyable manner. Develop basic movement patterns, strength, flexibility, and coordination. Foster a positive attitude towards physical activity and exercise. Duration: 30-45 minutes maximum per session

Frequency: 2-3 days per week (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Pre-Run Dynamic Movement (5-7 minutes):

A good pre-run dynamic movement segment for kids should focus on warming up their muscles, joints, and improving flexibility and mobility. Here's a simple routine that can be tailored for kids:

Jumping Jacks: Start with 1-2 minutes of jumping jacks to get the heart rate up and warm up the whole body.

Leg Swings: Stand next to a wall or a sturdy object for balance. Swing one leg forward and backward, then switch to the other leg. Do 10-15 swings on each leg to loosen up the hamstrings and hip flexors. These can be completed with a light tension resistance band around the ankles to engage and strengthen the stabilizer muscles, critical in running to improve running form and preventing injury.

Arm Circles: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Extend arms out to the sides and make small circles forward for 10-15 repetitions, then reverse the direction for another 10-15 repetitions to warm up the shoulders.

High Knees: Run in place, lifting knees up towards the chest as high as possible. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute to activate the hip flexors and increase circulation.

Butt Kicks: Run in place, kicking heels up towards the glutes. Aim for 30 seconds to 1 minute to warm up the quadriceps and calves.

Walking Lunges: Take large steps forward, bending both knees into a lunge position. Alternate legs as you walk forward, aiming for 10-15 lunges on each leg. This helps to stretch the hip flexors and improve lower body flexibility.

Side Shuffles: Shuffle sideways, keeping a low stance with knees bent. Move to one side for a few steps, then shuffle back in the opposite direction. Repeat for 30 seconds to 1 minute to engage the inner and outer thigh muscles. These can be completed with a light tension resistance band around the ankles to engage and strengthen the stabilizer muscles, critical in running to improve running form and preventing injury.

Calf Raises: Stand with feet hip-width apart and slowly rise up onto the balls of your feet, then lower back down. Do 10-15 repetitions to warm up the calves and ankles.

Trunk Rotations: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Rotate the torso to one side, then back to the center, and then to the other side. Repeat for 10-15 rotations on each side to loosen up the spine.

Ankle Circles: Sit on the ground with legs extended. Lift one foot off the ground and rotate the ankle in a circular motion. Do 10-15 circles in each direction, then switch to the other ankle. This helps to improve ankle mobility and flexibility.

Remember to encourage kids to perform each movement with proper form, rhythmic breathing and control, and to adjust the intensity and duration based on their age and fitness level.

Actual Workout: Walk for 5 minutes at a progressively faster pace to gradually and thoroughly warm-up.  The first couple minutes should be the most conservative. Focus on establishing a rhythm of efficiency by following this efficient running checklist:

  • Stand tall with the chin up

  • Shoulders should be back and down

  • Hands should be soft (imagine holding an egg in each hand) and close to the torso

  • Land as quietly as possible with feet as close to the body as possible

  • Breathe in a relaxed and rhythmic manner

  • Be happy and have a positive attitude

Post-Workout Recovery (10-15 minutes):

  • This recovery is as important as the workout. It helps the body to recover and prepare for the next workout.

  • Walk for 2-3 minutes to allow the heart rate to gradually return to normal.

  • Complete 5 minutes of easy stretching or using a foam rolling, focusing on the hips, glutes, and legs.

  • Refuel and hydrate within 30 minutes of completing every workout.  Chocolate milk is a great choice after a workout. It provides a ratio of 4:1 of carbohydrates to protein. Carbohydrates replace the lost glycogen (the primary fuel source of running) stores and protein helps repair microscopic tears in muscles caused by physical movement and activity.


  • Ensure proper supervision by a qualified instructor or adult throughout the session. 

  • Emphasize proper form and technique over intensity or speed.

  • Allow for rest periods between exercises and sets as needed. 

  • Encourage kids to listen to their bodies and stop if they experience pain or discomfort.

  • Make the sessions fun and engaging by incorporating games, challenges, or music. 

  • Gradually progress the difficulty of exercises as kids gain confidence and proficiency. 

  • Remember, the primary focus of this program is to instill a love for physical activity and exercise while promoting safety and proper technique.

  • Adjust the program based on the age, fitness level, and individual needs of the kids involved.

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