Make sure wall and floor are clear from obstacles. Have students put back to the wall and then lower down into a sitting position. Their knees should be in a 90 degree angle. They will quickly feel their quadriceps muscles working. Once the muscles become tired, have students lower their knees and bottom gently to touch the floor.
Have students move so they have room to use the edge of their chair. Have each student grip the edge of chair with legs extended out in front of the chair. The student will then lower their body down toward the ground, (keep back close to the chair edge) while bending at the elbows, lower down until elbows are approximately 90 degrees, then straighten elbows while bringing the body back up to starting position. A good example to explain this activity to students would be to pretend they are scratching their backs (from bottom to top on the way down and top to bottom on the way up) against the edge of the chair, their back however should not actually touch the chair edge, but be very close.
Wheelchair push-ups or use a chair with arms rests and pressing arms straight. Bend knees and use legs to help support.
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.
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)
Play one school-appropriate song and encourage youth to move! Make sure they have enough room to move around the room. Show youth how to do the twist, jump, lawn mower, wave, water sprinkler and high knees.
Ask youth to stand up and clasp their own hands together. Then ask them to take a deep breath in, turn their palms out and breathe out as they stretch their arms away and in front of their bodies. Encourage them to stretch their shoulder blades apart while bringing their chins down to their chests. When they are ready to breathe in again, ask them to move their shoulders up, then roll them back and down, as they release their hands and bring them down to their sides. Continue breathing. Finish by asking them to raise their heads to look up at you and slightly tuck their chins in (as if their head is a drawer, sliding into a dresser). Repeat. Important: Make sure youth are maintaining a good posture. To do a posture check, ask youth to stand against a wall. Their heels, hips, shoulders and the back of their heads should all be touching the wall. Ask them to tuck their chins in slightly, hold the position and step away from the wall.
When the students line up against the wall to leave the classroom or other designated place, have each student face the wall and perform 10 wall push-ups. After all push-ups are completed the class can walk in line.
Do push-ups from a seated position by using a desk or table.
Ask the youth to write a spelling word in the air with their fingers. Once they write the word in the air, ask them to trace a line moving from left to right underneath the letters, then right to left. Take it to the next level! Ask the youth to point to the letters (in their correct placement) as they are called out. Remind youth to use their opposite hand and then, other parts of their bodies such as their toe or elbow.
Instruct students to stand with their feet shoulder width apart and their hands on their hips. Have them be sure to keep their stomach muscles tight and their back straight in line with your hips. Tell them to lunge forward with one foot, being sure to keep the knee straight in line with the ankle. Remind them not to let the knee go over the toe when they lunge. Have them slowly squat down, gently touching their back knee to the ground, and slowly raise their body back to standing. Step forward and repeat with the opposite leg in front. They can perform the lunges in place, or they can start at one end of the hallway or gymnasium and perform the exercise across the space available. To make the exercise more challenging, students can put their hands above their heads, or even hold a medicine ball, or a heavier object to add more resistance.
When youth are in a single-file line (on the way to lunch, gym, music class, etc.), have the leader make a gesture as he or she starts walking (example: raising arms above head and bringing them back down to the side). Make sure each gesture is something that can be done as the youth walk. After the leader finishes the gesture, the next person in line follows by doing the same gesture (the “domino effect”). The next person can do the gesture only after the person ahead has finished. When the leader thinks everyone has had a chance to move, he or she can start the next move; however, the leader can choose how long to wait before starting the next move. A small break between moves can be more fun! The line can also move in an s-shaped pattern.