Kids Sports & Recreation/Advice for kids.

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Question
Hi, my name is Pat.
My kids are beginning an after school recreation gymnastics course.
About pull-ups, how many of these an average 10 year old, not fat, but a little lazy, should be able to do? And how to encourage that boy if he claims he cannot raise his body?
Is the position of hands important? Some say the palms should be looking forward and others say palms should be toward body. Should the legs be straight or folded?
And this can sound dumb, but, the exercise should always begin with the kid hanging, feet off the floor?

Also, is tumbling good exercise for a 7 years old boy? And excuse me, but, should this kid be using a sports cup for protection. The instructor seems vague in this...

And, a bit off topic question, is appropriate let boys exercise just wearing shorts? My 10 years old feels a bit uncomfortable bare chest. In my childhood, a million years ago, in Physical Education mixed groups, instructors kept boys with their shirts on.

I'm attending the parents meetings on the course, but feels that there is a lot to be learn.

Thank you in advance,
Pat.

Answer
Hi Pat, hope I can help.

It used to be that an average 10 year old boy could do between 3 and 10 pull-ups. Now, it's much lower. I think 3 is probably a high number. Most kids I see in PE can't do any, just like your son.

If he can't do one it's not because of motivation. It's probably too difficult. A good overall strength/fitness program would be a good place to start. Even doing sit-ups,push-ups and just hanging from the bar for a few seconds will help.

I think the form isn't that important for beginners. Ideally they start with the feet off the ground but if they need a jump to be successful that is fine. Pull-ups are where the hands face forward and chin-ups are with the palms facing back. Usually chin-ups are easier to do.

Tumbling is great for 7 year olds. My 8 year old is probably going to start (he wants to do flips on a scooter). I don't think they need a cup for tumbling or even PE classes. There isn't much contact in anything they do.

Personally, I think kids should wear shirts in PE. And if he is uncomfortable, he should definitely be allowed to wear a shirt.

Hope that helps!
Ron Usher

Kids Sports & Recreation

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Ron Usher

Expertise

If you have a question about sports, fitness, activities, and healthy living dealing with kids ages 3 to 18, I can help. I've been coaching and working with coaches, kids and sports for over thirty years. I can also help with questions about adapted PE for kids with disabilities.

Experience

Currently adapted physical education teacher for kids with disabilities ages 6 to 22. Swim and water polo coach for 30 years. Worked as a personal trainer to develop athletic skills for kids in a wide variety of sports. Very knowledgeable in strength, conditioning, balance and skill development. I believe sports are great for kids but they don't replace a healthy, active, family lifestyle.

Education/Credentials
BA physical education, minor in sports psychology. MA in kineseology. Single subject credential in physical education with an adapted PE certificate.

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