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Simple Kids' Stretching Exercises

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Updated June 27, 2014

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Getting Started With Kids' Stretching Exercises
kids stretching exercises: shoulder

Kids' stretching exercises: Don't forget to smile!

Catherine Holecko

After a sports practice or extended play session, or any time your child's muscles feel tense or tight, encourage her to try some simple kids' stretching exercises. She should stretch when her muscles are warmed up. So if she hasn't just been exercising, she needs to do a short warm-up: about 5 minutes of brisk walking, marching in place, dancing, arm swings and circles, or similar.

When she's ready to stretch, she can try some of the following exercises. They do not have to be done exactly in this order, although generally, it is a good idea to stretch the spine first and then move from the upper to the lower body. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds at the point of tension or tightness—not pain—and repeat a few times (switching legs and arms as needed). Do not bounce in the stretch.

If your child has an injury, or is training for a specific sport, consult a physical therapist or athletic trainer to determine the safest and most effective stretching exercises.

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