Calisthenics - Prep Kids for Future Resistance Training

How should parents use calisthenics to prepare kids for resistance training and to teach them about physical education? Kids are getting taller, stronger, and more agile than ever.

Unfortunately, they’re also becoming heavier- sometimes, they overeat sugar or insufficient protein. When these children hit puberty, they’ll be at risk of obesity, leading to diabetes and other health problems. What if there was a way to build strength without weights? The answer is calisthenics!

Calisthenic exercises are physical exercises that don’t use equipment or external weight but rely on one’s body weight as the only source of resistance. This article will share how parents can prep their kids for training when the time comes by doing calisthenics with them now!

Kids Calisthenics Prep Resistance Training

What is the best calisthenics?

Any calisthenic exercise is suitable for children as long as it’s within their abilities and interest. For example, kids who can’t do a single repetition can perform activities such as dips, push-ups, and pull-ups.

Here is a list of the best Kids’ Calisthenics:


Crunch is an excellent exercise for children to learn as it helps strengthen their core and, subsequently, their spine. Make sure your child performs this exercise with a mat on the floor first to be more comfortable. Crunches can also help improve posture and strengthen the abs and hip flexors.


Push-ups are another excellent exercise for children to learn because it strengthens their chest, triceps, and shoulders. Kids can perform this on their knees or toes, depending on your child’s ability. Let them hold a push-up for 10 seconds every time they do one repetition to get used to the exercise.


Pull-ups/Chin-ups are another excellent exercise for children because it strengthens their biceps and upper back. Also, this should be performed on a pull-up bar only, NOT on the monkey bars at the playground! Thus, this is something that you should only teach when your child can already do at least one repetition.


Lunges are probably one of the best learning exercises for children since they strengthen their quadriceps and hamstrings. Also, lunges are suitable for balancing balance, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance.

To perform this exercise correctly, teach your child to stand with their feet shoulder-width apart first before going into a stride. Then, once they’re in a stride, ensure their knee doesn’t go past their toes as they lower themselves down.


Sit-ups/Crunches are the second-best calisthenics for children to learn after crunches. It strengthens their abs and hip flexors to help improve posture and support the core.

Lateral Jumps

Lateral Jumps are another excellent exercise for strengthening the hips, thighs, and calves. Also, this helps develop coordination and balance, so it’s very suitable for children who aren’t ready to run or jump yet. Thus, this should be performed more on one leg than on two.

Forward Jumps

Forward Jumps are another excellent exercise for strengthening the hips, thighs, and calves. Also, this helps develop coordination and work on balance, so it’s very suitable for children who aren’t quite ready to do any running or jumping yet. As with lateral jumps, do this on one leg over two.

Shuttle Run

A shuttle Run is another excellent exercise for children because it develops cardiovascular endurance, coordination, and balance. Kids should accomplish this on an even surface first to get the hang of it before they do this on uneven surfaces.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks strengthens the hips, thighs, calves, and chest while improving cardiovascular endurance. Make sure your child keeps their feet together when they jump up, and the further they spread them apart, the more intense this exercise will become.

How can parents prepare their children for strength training?

Since we want to help our kids grow up healthy and fit, we need to start early with them by exercising regularly. Also this is especially true if we want them to be part of the fitness community when they get older. Studies show that people who participate in fitness early in life and continue through adulthood live longer than those who do not.

There are many approaches to parents teaching children about fitness, from pushing their children to compete in beauty pageants to forcing them into sports they don’t enjoy, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Instead, it’s best to let the child choose what they want to do as long as it’s not sitting on the couch and eating junk food all day. The best approaches encourage and educate children on how to eat right and move more.

Here are some basic guidelines for kids’ Calisthenics:

1) Ensure your child is eating healthy and getting enough sleep before starting an exercise regimen.

2) Take it slow, especially if your child is exceptionally young, unfit, or has no experience with exercise. Start with something simple, like isometric exercises, and work your way up.

3) Limit your child’s daily hours in front of a TV, computer/iPad.

4) Ensure your child gets enough calcium and protein (milk, cheese, fish, yogurt, etc.) before introducing them to weightlifting.

5) Make sure your child is wearing proper shoes for their exercise. Running shoes are inappropriate for every workout, so consult a sports medicine doctor if you have questions.

6) Find your child’s motivation because that will help them stay consistent throughout their exercise regimen.

7) Keep records of what kids’ calisthenics your child does each day and ensure they aren’t overtraining themselves.

8) Ensure you set a good example by maintaining an exercise regimen. If your child sees that you’re not taking care of yourself, it will be hard to convince them they should take care of their bodies.

9) Let your child know there is no such thing as “too young to exercise,” If anyone says otherwise, they’re full of it.

10) Make sure you and your child enjoy the exercise activities they participate in, and do not force them to do something they don’t like.

Also, make exercise fun for your child, so they look forward to it every day instead of dreading it. Some good examples are exercising with a friend, playing a sport, or dancing.

How many reps should a child do when weightlifting?

Children can start on weighted exercises as soon as they can do a single repetition. In terms of progression, we recommend children do one set of 3-5 repetitions for the first month and increase it by one rep every week until they can easily manage 10-12 consecutive reps.

Most kids will graduate to the weighted version of a bodyweight exercise within a year or more. For example, push-ups teach kids how to perform bench presses.

In comparison, pull-ups teach kids how to perform Lat pull-downs. And chin-ups prepare kids for arm curls. In addition, lunges and bodyweight squat train kids to perform squats and deadlifts.

Finally, if kids are interested in playing a sport, ensure that their exercises mimic the moves they will perform.

The last word on how to use calisthenics to prep kids for resistance training in the future

Charles Poliquin, a world-renowned strength coach, has spoken about how vital it is to train the right muscles at the right time.

When you’re young and growing up, your body can use all its resources for development instead of focusing on slow-twitch fibers. In addition, using calisthenics exercises in workouts will prepare your child for weight training later.

Using calisthenics exercises can build strength in kids before they train with weights. First, traditional activities place unnecessary stress on their growing joints. Second, the key to training kids is working more effectively and with less risk of injury.

Strength training is a vital part of youth development. But unfortunately, too many kids engage in an activity that is not strength-oriented. Instead, they participate in sports such as soccer and lacrosse, where endurance is emphasized.

Introducing calisthenics to your child’s training will help them develop a healthy body weight and learn coordination. It can also prevent them from becoming couch potatoes once they reach their teenage years.

Start with calisthenics to build strength and mobility if you have a child who gains weight quickly. Thus, this will help them get into the right frame of mind for more activity overall. What has been your experience with teaching your child about physical education? If you or someone you know is looking to improve your health, share this article on Facebook or Twitter so that others can learn more about self-care.

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By Terry Clark

Terry Clark, M.S. is a math professor, certified fitness trainer, nutritionist, bodybuilding coach, writer, and fitness enthusiast. Terry loves working out, math, music, chess, cooking, writing, and teaching.

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