Building an At-Home Kids' Fitness Training Environment
Essential equipment needed for building a home training center for kids does not have to be expensive or complex to set up. We have been working with families as a part of the BIPRI Exercise Platform in producing training programs and specific workouts for kids to train, under their parents' supervision, at their homes.
As part of this process, I have begun recommending several essential, affordable tools that can be purchased to build an effective at-home training center.
At-Home Kids Fitness Utilizes the Equipment You Already Have
Traditional home workout equipment can be used for kids training, and many households have assorted dumbbells or free weights, jump ropes, yoga mats, Swiss balls, medicine balls, bands, steps, or many other (often lightly used) pieces of equipment. Our training programs with BIPRI will utilize any and all equipment that a household has available in order to maximize the variety of workouts.
An Essential, Affordable Addition
A key piece of equipment that I believe is the most important for home-based training for kids is a pull up bar or rings. Rings are the easiest, most affordable, and most useful tool to have in your home environment. They can be used for developing back strength, pressing strength, isometric strength and basic gymnastic skills.
A good set of rings and adjustable straps, along with the required hardware, will cost less than $35 and provides multiple activities for the training center. We use ours inside our garage and on some outside tree limbs. I also bring these on our beach trips, which always provides a great vacation workout option for myself and my kids. For serious home fitness enthusiasts, a pull-up bar is essential; there are many available options, which can be used inside or outside the home.
Almost all households also have buckets or benches that can be used to step up on, jump down from, jump on or jump over. Backyard playgrounds with slides, monkey bars, and climbing walls also come in handy when designing obstacle courses for kids. Three of our current families have trampolines, and we are using those as activity centers for part of our programming.
Great Equipment to Use In Home-Based Training for Kids
Some other items that add to a great training environment (and take up very little space) include:
- Speed ladder. Easy to store, can be used inside or outside for assorted speed and agility drills.
- PVC pipe or broom handle (3-5 ft length). These items can be used for some technical strength work, and are handy tools to use for jumping over or crawling under obstacle course designs.
- Cones. Handy for distance markers in sprinting, form running or animal movements.
- Gym Mat. We found ours at a garage sale, but a 4x6 ft mat can be purchased online from $70 - $150. These are great to use under the rings and can be used in almost any space for tumbling or stretching activities.
- Tennis or racquet balls. Great for quick agility training and for developing hand-eye coordination.
- Whistle. Kids love to react to whistle starts, and the use of a whistle makes all the drills seem more official.
- Taped-up towel. This is an old school tool from my wrestling days. Works great as a relay baton on obstacle races, as a fun tagging tool for games of tag, or as a fun tool for individual tug of war activities.
- Old boxing gloves and something to hit. Kids love hitting pads, heavy bags, and occasionally Dad with these tools. Pair these with a medicine ball and a jump rope and you can create amazing circuits in your garage for tons of fun with your child. Bonus points for all workouts to the Rocky IV soundtrack.
Why Home-Based Training for Kids?
Home-based training develops a child’s self-confidence, physical abilities and closeness with the parent through a shared activity. I would encourage all parents to find as much time as possible each week to specifically play / train / exercise with your kids. If you would like some help in planning these activities for your family, we would love to talk with you. Learn more about our Kid's Fitness Training program here, as well as our special introductory offer of just $25 for the first month of your customized fitness training program.