Explore how to make your body into a “bridge” with this fun core strength exercise for kids. If you like this, you’ll love our Core Strengthening Handbook! With 40 pages and more than 50 fun core strengthening exercises for kids, it’s the perfect resource for helping little ones keep those core muscles strong!One of my favorite things about being a pediatric therapist is when kids come up with their own unique variations on therapy activities. Without even meaning to, they often end up targeting the exact skills I had in mind, only in a more fun and playful way!
During one recent therapy session with a group of first grade boys, we were holding plank pose and driving toy cars under our “bridges”. They were having a blast with it, and then their creative little minds got to work.
They expanded on this exercise for kids and challenged each other to see how else they could make their bodies into bridges! So, on behalf of my first graders, I present…Body Bridges!
What You’ll Need:
-A few things to put under your “bridges” (cars, trucks, action figures, dolls – really any toy will do!)
Body Bridges Exercise for Kids
1 || Simple Seated Bridge
Don’t let the name of this one deceive you. Believe it or not, this was actually a challenging position for some of my kids to hold! Show kids how to sit with their legs bent in front of them, feet on the floor. Have friends drive or walk toys under the seated child’s bent legs, or he can even do it himself in this pose.
For an additional challenge – ask kids to lift their hands off the floor and hold them in the air as a friend drives a car under their legs. Still too easy? Have them lift one leg into the air too!
2 || All Fours Bridge
This position offers some stability with four points of contact on the floor…unless you ask kids to lift one leg behind them as their friends pass toys through their bridge. Or, can they lift one leg and the opposite arm? Such great strengthening work here! Check out other ways to play in a quadruped position.
3 || Plank Bridge
This was our original position…just a good old fashioned plank pose. Lots of great whole body strengthening in this exercise for kids! Lift one leg or one arm for an extra challenge, or turn onto the side of one foot and lift the top arm in the air for a side plank bridge! Again, friends can enjoy driving or walking toys underneath!
4 || Downward Dog Bridge
A downward dog makes another perfect bridge, as kids get the benefits of core strengthening and upper extremity strengthening too! Lift one leg for a three-legged dog bridge or challenge kids to drive a car or walk a toy under their own bridge! It’s harder than it sounds!
5 || Crab Walk Bridge
Crab walking is an amazing core strengthening exercise for kids and the crab walk position leaves the perfect little space for toys to make their way through! Kick up one foot or lift one hand to decrease stability and increase the core strength challenge!
For Virtual Sessions
This one is so simple to turn into a virtual treatment activity for building core and upper extremity strength! Read the instructions in this blog post and then demonstrate the different “bridge” positions. Have the child’s parent or a sibling “drive” toy cars or stuffed animals through the bridges!