Don’t Be Frozen – Let It Go!

Description

Stand with your legs hip width apart. Take a deep cleansing breath and bend over at your waist. Look down at the ground and let your upper body hang. Pull your belly button in gently to protect your lower back. Let the weight of your upper body pull you down toward the floor.

Then start moving your arms in random circular patterns (doesn’t matter how your arms swing) while still looking down. Let go of the tension in your next and shoulders. Stop moving your arms after 20 to 30 seconds. Breathe in and as you breathe out, try to lower your hands toward the floor until you reach a gentle stretch. Breathe in and as you breathe out, roll back up one vertebrae at a time.

Modification Option

Poor Balance: Lean back against a wall or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart.

Chair Fun – Leg Extensions

Description

Sit on the edge of the chair with your back straight. Pull your belly button in to engage your ab muscles and protect your back muscles. With your knee bent, lift one leg up slightly and hold for a few seconds. Straighten your leg out as far as you can without dropping it down to the floor. Bring your leg back into a bent position but don’t lower your foot back to the ground. Repeat extensions to a straightened leg 20 times. Then lower your leg down and put your foot on the floor. Repeat with the other side. This exercise is great for strengthening your leg muscles!

Chair Fun – Leg Lifts

Description

Sit on the edge of the chair with your back straight. Pull your belly button in to engage your ab muscles and protect your back muscles. With your knee bent, lift one leg up slightly and hold for a few seconds. Then do 50-100 small pulses. Make this movement from your hip. (Pretend like your leg is a lever making your knee go up.) Don’t let your leg drop below parallel. Repeat on the other side. This exercise is great for strengthening your leg muscles!

Love Football – make a goal post!

Description

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your arms out at your sides and up to your shoulder level. Make a gentle fist with each hand. Bend each arm at the elbow with your fists pointed up at a 90 degree angle. Keep your neck relaxed. Your upper body will look like a goal post ready for a field goal. Do 50-100 small pulses up and down with your elbows, pushing your fists straight up toward the ceiling. Keep your goal post looking nice and perfect!

Modification Options

  1. Poor balance: Lean back against a wall or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart.
  2. Do one arm at a time and stabilize self by holding onto a chair or table.

Arm Burners!

Description

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your arms out at your sides and up to your shoulder level. Make a gentle fist with each hand and keep your neck relaxed. Rotate your shoulders forward, making tiny circles with arms. Do this for 2-3 minutes. Then reverse the direction and rotate your shoulders backward, making small circles with your arms. Do this for 2-3 minutes.

When doing this exercise, do not let your arms go below your shoulders. Keep your shoulder, elbow and wrist in a straight line.

Modification Options

  1. Poor balance: Lean back against a wall or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold onto the back of a chair and do one arm at a time.

Pass Through

Description

Hold the resistance band or PVC pipe with a wide grip (more than shoulder width) in front of your body. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. While holding the band or PVC pipe, slowly raise your arms over your head and then behind your head. Keep going until you reach a gentle stretch. Slowly bring your arms back to the front of your body. Repeat 10 times.

Modification Option

Poor balance: Lean back against a wall or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart.

Leg Lifts (3 ways)

Description

1) Ask youth to pull their chairs out from their desks and sit in their chairs. Remind them to sit up straight, while holding onto the sides of their chairs. Then ask them to bring both of their legs up (keeping their ankles together and legs straight) and extend their legs as high as they are able. Hold at the top, do a small “pump” action and lower legs back to the floor. Repeat 15 times.

2) Ask the youth to stand behind their chairs, holding the back for balance. Then ask them to bring their right leg out to the side to a 45-degree angle. Hold at the top, do a small “pump” action and lower leg back to the floor. Repeat 15 times. Switch legs.

3) Repeat #2, lifting leg behind to a 45-degree angle.

Modification Option

Seated Options: Leg kicks, seated marching, moving legs apart and together (adding theraband for resistance)

Contagious

Description

Contagious is a game that teaches the importance of good hand washing to prevent the spread of germs and illness.

Start with two players designated as “it” (the contagious germs). The rest of the players spread out in the gym or designated area.

The players that are the germs work to tag the other players. Once another person has been tagged they are considered contagious and become a germ. They either hold hands or link arms with the first germ to become a two-person (germ) team.

This germ team moves around the gym trying to tag or “infect” other players with their germs. Each tagged person becomes part of the growing link of germs.

Once the group of germs has six people, they divide into two groups. The game ends when all players have been caught.

The goal of the game is to stay healthy and free from the germs by moving quickly about the room and avoid being tagged. Emphasize the importance in our daily lives to wash hands regularly to avoid the spread of germs.

Modification Option

Youth who use a wheelchair can also participate! Make it more challenging for the others by having them sit their bottoms on scooters (if available).

Balloon Blast

Description

For these games you will need medium to large balloons (any color).  Consider latex-free balloons as some students may have allergies to latex.

Divide students into equal groups of 3 to 6 people per group. These games can be done either standing or sitting.

Have the each group form a circle. Using just one balloon, see how many times they can volley the balloon without it hitting the ground or see how long they can keep it in the air (i.e. 1 minute, 2 minutes, etc.) The team that keeps the balloon up the longest wins!

A different version of this game would be to add a second balloon to the mix and have the students try the same activity.

Modification Option

Give youth the option to do this from a seated position so individuals who use a wheelchair can join in the fun, too!

Squats

Description

Have students stand with their feet shoulder width apart. Instruct them to squat down (as though they are pretending to sit down a chair), being sure to keep their stomach muscles tight and their backs straight to prevent injury. Using their arms for counter-balance, they can reach out.  Tell them to slowly squat down until their knees are bent to 90 degrees, and knees do not go past their toes, hold for a count of 3 seconds and slowly stand back up. Do sets of 8-10 repetitions. You could encourage the students to also incorporate doing squats during a TV commercial, or doing a set of 10 here and there throughout the day.

Modification Option

  • Poor balance: perform squats by holding on to the back of a chair or counter for balance
    • perform with back against wall
  • Impaired leg strength:
    • decrease range of motion to 45 degrees
    • if you do not have enough strength to come fully to standing, do a much as you can using your legs as much as possible and arms to assist (move to a partial standing position)