Our Focus Areas

FF-7: Crunch Relay

FF-7: Crunch Relay

Time:

20 minutes

Grade:

All

Summary:

Children will participate in a relay race that will give them an abdominal workout.

Did You Know?

Activities that make muscles work against gravity or extra weight help build muscle strength. Muscles become stronger when they are made to work and strong muscles make many activities easier and more enjoyable.participate in a relay race that

Materials:

  • An even number of balls
    (Soft and rather large, so that each child can easily pass it behind themselves. Nerf balls will work well.)

Activity:

  1. Have children split into two groups and form two lines parallel to each other.
  2. Children should pair up with a buddy of similar height, to make it easier to pass a ball over their head backwards (see figure).
  3. Have children sit on the ground so that their knees are bent upwards and their feet are on the ground. Each child should face another child in the line and have their back to their buddy's back (see picture). Children should sit toe to toe with the child they are facing far enough away from the child they have their back to so that each child can lean back at an angle (but not lay all the way down).
  4. Hand the first child in each line a ball and have them hold it high over their head.
  5. When you yell Crunch! the children will begin passing the ball down their lines, leaning back to receive it from the child behind them and crunching up to hand it to the child in front of them until the ball reaches the end.
  6. Possible variations:
    • Having the children tap the ball to the ground on either side before passing it on.
    • Having the children pass several balls down the line so that they do more crunches.
    • Having children go through the crunch (and ground tap) motion throughout the entire race as a team. Have each team crunch up and lower down together as the ball is passed. Have each team cheer as they come up to give them a rhythm and encourage them to breathe out as they flex their stomach muscles.

(Grades 3-5)

The first team to get the ball to the end wins.

Crunches (Grades K-2)

  1. You can play this game with one line; use a stopwatch to time the children, challenging them to beat their best time.
  2. Have children sit in a circle.

Key Talking Points:

  1. Muscles become stronger when they are made to work.
  2. Strong muscles help build strong bones, maintain a healthy weight, prevent injury, and make many activities seem more enjoyable because they feel easier to do.
  3. Always stretch after a strength-training workout to keep muscles long and flexible.
    • Exhale as you slowly perform each move and repeat it 7-8 times.
    • Refer to the pictures provided for proper posture to prevent injury.
    • Strength exercises should never be painful. Reduce the stretch if it's painful.

AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:

  1. Recognize the importance of strong muscles to stay healthy.
  2. Identify the daily tasks that each muscle group performs.

Go Further:

If there is interest in the muscles being stretched, you may check the children's section for an anatomy book at your local library.

Source:

Boston Medical Center, Nutrition and Fitness for Life Program, 2010.