The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Creative Cardio Circuit Strategies for Youth – Part 2

Posted in
Fit Tips

Friday, Sep 29, 2017

Circle leader:

  • Exercisers should form a circle with the instructor taking the lead.
  • The exercise begins with the leader running in and out of the circle and the rest of the exercisers following his/her lead.
  • The leader has the option to go as far into the circle as they would like, but the moment the leader stops and changes direction, all exercisers do the same.
  • The leader will repeat this movement approximately 3-5 times. He or she can then pick another leader for the purpose of variety.
  • Continue assigning new leaders for the duration of 1 minute.

Copy Cat:

  • Each exerciser chooses a partner. If there is an odd number of participants, groups of 3 are adequate.
  • Within each pair, one person is chosen to be the initial leader. The other partner will then copy all movements made by the leader. Hence, “Copy Cat.”
  • For the first 30 seconds, the leader will attempt to make as many different types of movements as possible with the goal being to “fake out” their partner.
  • Continue moving for the entire 30 seconds.
  • Upon completion of the first 30 seconds, the roles are switched and the leader will now become the “Copy Cat.”

Coordination Jacks:

  • Jumping jacks are a great activity to implement into a circuit training routine. However, doing jumping jacks for one full minute can become quite boring.
  • Coordination jacks add a great amount of variety and can be quite beneficial in motor development.
  • The instructor/teacher begins with a regular jumping jack for the purpose of getting the kids in motion.
  • From this point, he or she can utilize the coordination jacks movements:
    • Right arm and left leg
    • Left arm and right leg
    • Same side (left arm/leg r right arm/leg)
    • Frnt to back jacks
    • Upper bdy front to back with legs jumping side to side
    • Legs jumping frnt to back and arms moving side to side
    • Etc.
  • The instructor should display a very smooth transition from one movement to the next. It’s a good idea to practice this exercise prior to doing with your class.
  • Continue switching between the different coordination movements for the entire minut.

The creative cardio circuit strategies are a great method for improving physical fitness. These strategies will develop both aerobic and anaerobic endurance which will be quite beneficial for improvements within the aerobic capacity portion of FitnessGram® (i.e. Pacer Test and 1 Mile Run Test). Have fun and be creative!