A Strength Coach Reveals His Top 5 Tips for Raising Fit Kids

·2 min read
Photo credit: Courtesy Milo F. Bryant
Photo credit: Courtesy Milo F. Bryant
Photo credit: Courtesy Milo F. Bryant
Photo credit: Courtesy Milo F. Bryant

Strength coach Milo F. Bryant, C.S.C.S., has trained thousands of kids over the past eight years through his program, the Coalition for Launching Active Youth. And that includes his own two daughters. Here, his tips on making working out less like work—for everyone.

Burst Some Bubbles

Their mom would blow bubbles, and my daughters and I would go full The Last Dragon. I’d kick, punch, knee, elbow, and thunderclap the bubbles, and the girls would follow. We were just playing, but it was athletically foundational—from balance and strength to speed and coordination.

Sprint the Sillies Out

If given one exercise to help a kid become an amazing athlete, sprinting is the one. We’d go work on sprint mechanics and speed drills. Do this 10 x 10 drill together at any age: After a warm­up, mark a start line and then sprint for ten seconds and mark how far you both get. Walk back to the start and recover until you can talk comfortably. Then repeat nine more times.

Do the Mirror Drill

Face your child and take turns mimicking each other’s every movement for 30 seconds each. During this drill, you and your child are on the same “team.” The child has to do movements that you are able to do at a speed that you can do them. It helps hone coordination. Then you have to reciprocate. You’re trying to be in sync. Next level—make it competitive. Do moves so fast it’s hard to keep up.

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

Fake Out Each Other

Place two cones 15 feet apart for you and another set 15 feet apart for your child. (The cones should be parallel to one another.) Stand in the middle of your cones, then shuffle back and forth, trying to fake out your child for 30 seconds. Then have your child try to fake you out. This drill helps with speed, balance, and getting the sillies out.

Train by Fingertips

Face your child and be the “coach” first while the child is the “athlete.” As the coach, guide the athlete through various movements, in all three planes of motion, while the athlete’s eyes are closed. The two of you must maintain contact with the tips of your index fingers. It fine-tunes balance and coordination. Be imaginative with the movements: Think squats, lunges, 360 degree rolls on the ground. Perform for 30 seconds, then switch.

This story first appeared in the June 2021 issue of Men's Health with the title Sweat Helps Blond Bonds Grow.

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