This is the third post in my series of four outlining topics I am proud to be presenting at this year’s Gymnastics Ontario (GO) Coaching Congress, happening this week in Toronto. In addition to talking about the fundamentals behind setting up a successful preschool program and how to incorporate the specific needs of every age and stage of development in your program, I am very excited to be sharing ideas about recreational warm-up activities.

It’s something I’ve talked about many times on this blog – that we, as coaches, need to think about every part of our programs and how best to engage and inspire our students on every level.

Yoga Child

Recreational Warm-up Ideas

You have many little ones coming into your gym, and you need to find a way to get them all fired up for class. So what do you do? For many coaches, the obvious answer would be “Play a game!

However, (and you knew there would be one) too often games are not always the best option, for a couple of reasons.

  1. Parents want to see their children learning something!
  2. Depending on the type of game, and how familiar a child is with it, late comers and late bloomers may feel uncomfortable joining in.

Games do have their place in your program, but it’s good to have fun alternatives to get everyone warmed up and excited for class.

I’ll be talking about ways to incorporate these elements into a variety of warm up options:

  • Aerobic activities
  • Body part isolation
  • Exercise positions
  • Active and passive flexibility

These creative ideas are basic and simple to follow, yet they provide instructors with a different approach to equipment, such as balls, hoops, rebounders and mats ect. Putting these routines into practice creates wonderful, useful, energetic and fun warm-up activities to improve and enhance the gym experience.

(If you won’t be attending the GO Coaching Congress, you can still get a lot of good warm-up program ideas from

Visit the blog again tomorrow to learn about the upcoming “Yay for Play” Sports and Games Activities Guide Book.

From Darlene “The Bean”


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