Practising simple yoga stretches for kids

Practising simple yoga stretches for kids

Since schools have closed, our kids are spending more time sitting in front of a computer. Spending hours hunched in front of a computer screen can cause physical discomforts and injuries. The risk is higher if kids do not have ergonomically-safe desks and chairs to use when they are studying online. 

Studies show that staying in one position for long periods can worsen musculoskeletal disorders, physical discomfort, and injuries including:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Lower back pain
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Sore wrists
  • Obesity 
  • Tension headaches
  • Stress

However, taking short breaks between periods of study and practising simple yoga stretches can prevent many of these issues. 

We have listed some simple yoga stretches you can teach your child at home. Many of these stretches can be performed while seated. The stretches also work for WFH parents. Why not give them a try? 

Simple stretches for studying at home

Yoga incorporates a lot of stretching exercises that are wonderful for removing kinks, loosening muscles, and improving flexibility. The breathing exercises used in yoga are also good for relaxation and focus. 

Chest stretch

Kids in front of computers tend to sit hunched forward. Chest and shoulders stretches are excellent for relaxing tension and promoting blood circulation.

To perform a chest stretch:

  • Stand or sit up straight.
  • Clasp hand behind your back and raise chin. 
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Exhale as you unclasp your hands. 

Torso stretch

Torso stretches remove kinks and relax muscles. They can prevent lower back and shoulder injuries in your child. 

To perform a torso stretch: 

  • Stand or sit.
  • Lace fingers together and stretch them up towards the ceiling.
  • Take a deep breath and try to stretch as high as you can.
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Exhale as you open your arms.
  • Let arms fall naturally to the side. 

Neck stretch

Tight neck muscles from spending too much time online can lead to tension headaches and soreness. If your kid tends to sit hunched forward when they are on the computer, this simple neck exercise can help prevent injuries. 

To perform a neck stretch: 

  • Sit up straight on a chair.
  • Grab the right side of the chair while tilting your head to the left.
  • Very gently pull while tilting your head. You will feel a stretch on the right side of your body.
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds. 
  • Repeat on the other side. 

Spinal twist

Sitting for long periods in front the computer puts a strain on the lower back. Over time, muscles tightened resulting in that achy, tight feeling we experience. 

To perform a spinal twist: 

  • Sit up straight on a chair. 
  • Plant your feet firmly on the floor. 
  • Contract your abs. Rotate the body slowly towards the right.
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds. 
  • Repeat on the other side. 

Forearm stretch

Forearm stretches are excellent for releasing tension caused by typing on the computer while studying at home. It is good for stretching forearm muscles and wrists. 

To perform a forearm stretch

  • Stand or sit.
  • Stretch the right arm out and turn the hands down so your fingers point towards the floor. 
  • Use your right hand to gently pull the fingers back towards you.
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds. 
  • Repeat on the other side. 

Shoulder shrugs

The shoulders and neck hold a lot of tension from typing and hunching. Show your kid how to shrug their shoulders in between studying. A simple movement like a shoulder shrug can relax and help them focus better. 

To perform shoulder shrugs 

  • Sit up straight on a chair. 
  • Lift shoulders to your ears and squeeze tightly.
  • Hold the pose for 1 to 2 seconds. 
  • Rollback shoulders and relax. 

Arms stretch

Arms stretch helps release tension in the arms and upper body. Studying online for long periods overuse arm muscles. Arms stretches can solve the problem. 

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, child and indoor

To perform arms stretch

  • Sit up straight on a chair. 
  • Raise your arms and bend it so your hand reaches toward the opposite side.
  • Use your other hand to pull your elbow toward your head. 
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Getting up from their seats occasionally will keep blood flowing again to their legs and hips. It is also important that your child takes regular breaks from their computers. During breaks, encourage him/her to do something physical like riding their bike in the garden or kicking a ball around. Fresh air and sunshine are important for physical health and wellbeing. So it is good nutrition. Stay home. Stay safe. 

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Tips from TopKidz Academy – For more tips and advice on kids’ yoga and fitness, please visit www.topkidz.com.au

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