Fundamentals of Total Body Fitness for Physical

“Fundamentals of Total Body Fitness for
Physical Education”
Grades 6-12
Presenter: Andi McCarthy – Aurora West College Preparatory Academy,
6-12 PE Teacher
For Handouts:
2010 CO Middle School PE Teacher of the Year
2011 Central District Middle School PE Teacher of the Year
2011 Final Four for National Middle School PE Teacher of the Year
1) Breaking Down the Skills:
Just like teaching sports and activity skills, we need to break down our exercises
to meet the individual needs of our students. We need to offer them as many
different exercise alternatives for muscular strength, muscular endurance,
flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. I teach all these exercises to my
students over the first 3-4 weeks of class.
2) Student-Driven Workouts:
After 4 weeks, we move on to workouts that are more student-driven such
as “Cone Workouts”, “Deal-Up Fitness”, “Dice Workouts”.
Body Weight Exercises for Muscular Strength,
Muscular Endurance, Agility and Flexibility
Walking for a few minutes to get mentally ready for class!!!
Dynamic Stretching:
My students rarely sit down and stretch. I feel they concentrate more when they are
stretching while they move.
Skips – making sure to use arms.
Skips with a Twist – really try and bring knee up and over to opposite side.
High Knees – start with arms bent at 90 degrees and palms down, try to hit
palms with knees and back straight. I let them go and make sure they use
their arms and add “quiet feet” and baby steps.
5) Butt Kickers – stand tall and keep front of thigh still, just bring their feet up
to their butt, back straight, and swing arms. Add “quiet feet” and baby steps.
6) Carioke - make them keep their arms still and move their feet and torso.
7) Knee Pull Ups with Steps – I start basic with this and then for more
advanced, I have them try and go up on their toes to stretch their calves
(really need balance to do this one).
8) Quad Pull Ups with Steps – grab shoes on laces and push down in hand,
hold opposite arm out in front of you for balance.
9) Hamstring Stretch with Steps – straight front leg (locked out) and reach
down with arms and hands toward toes, hold for 3, and step out with other
foot and repeat.
10) Leg High Kicks with Opp. Arms – start basic, with arms held straight out
and kick hands with opposite feet. Great Brain one!!! When they get better,
arms above head and bring them down to meet their kick while keeping core
tight. Advanced: No feet sound so they have to hold their legs up and let
them down easy with each step.
Upper Body:
1. Hand touch – feet apart for balance and do not swing body.
2. Air fives (alone or with partner) straight up or across - feet apart for balance
and do not swing body.
3. Shoulder Touches – reach diagonal to touch shoulder – feet apart and do
not swing body.
4. Out, out, in, in - with arms and also with legs
5. Push Up Shuffle - slow. Advanced: Fast moving.
6. Bear crawl – Butt down – full or half court. Advanced: Bent Elbows
7. Modified- lower body to the ground and then bend knees and push up- then
bring legs back up to ready position.
8. Reverse - going from the ground as your starting position. Modified with
knees. Regular PU as next step.
9. Regular PU
10. Traveling Push-Ups - Push-up, cross hands, repeat – to half court
Advanced: Add a push up or more before crossing over and moving.
11. Tricep PU – arms closer to your sides. Modified: use knees.
12. Slow – 2 or 3 second count. You can go slow down and up or just one
way. Modified: use knees
13. Push up with alternating shoulder touch
14. Push up with alternating arm raise
15. Sideways PU- reach out to the side with one arm and perform a push-up
and bring it back in and reach out to the other side. Repeat. Modified: use
16. Forward Reach PU – reach forward and perform a push-up and bring it
back, repeat with other arm. Modified: use knees.
17. “3” Level Push-Ups – start hands in together, out to push up position, then
wide and move them back in. Advanced: Jumping hands out to those
positions and back in.
18. Class Circle Wave – everyone is down and does a push-up. You can do
this with any exercise. Kids can use the modified push-up on this if they
need to.
Triceps Push-Ups:
1. Crab Walk - with hands facing in towards their feet. More advanced is
bending your elbows slightly.
2. Basic Triceps Push-ups – body in crab position – elbows facing away
from body and fingers pointing towards feet. Advanced: Cross one leg over
the other and lift up torso.
3. Triceps Side Shuffle – side to side moving.
Full Body:
Basic Plank – Modified: on knees Advanced: Lift a leg up, in, or side
Side Plank – Modified: on knees
Advanced: Lift your arm or leg
Plank hold with legs going in and out.
Core and Upper Body Combo:
a. Plank to Pushup, alternating which arm you chose to get up with.
Modified: use knees.
5. Caterpillar Crawls – bend down and crawl your hands out to push-up
position (you can have them perform a push-up or not) and then jump their
feet in and continue down the gym floor.
6. Mountain Climbers – keep butt down. Advanced: arms bent or bring legs in
slow bringing knees in and even across to opposite elbows.
7. Burpees – Basic: Squat down, step out to get their body in push-up position
and then step back in and stand up. Modified: Squat Down, Jump body out
to push-up position, jump feet back in, and then stand up.
Advanced: Students can try to do “single arm” burpees. Note: Make sure
they squat down first or they could really hurt their wrists. Added things
to make it more of a combo exercise: You can make them do a broad jump
or squat jump or you can add push-ups or bring legs in or out before
returning to up position. Be creative with these.
1. Basic Curl up – hands on ground like Fitnessgram test.
2. Reverse Curl-up- going from up to down with arms straight and fingertips
ending above the knee at low point.
3. Reverse Curl-up for Obliques: both hands to the sides on and fingertips
starting at just below your knees and go down and back up.
4. Toe Touches – straight legs up to ceiling, try to touch feet with straight
arms, not a big upward movement, try to not shrug, lift with abs.
5. Indian-Style Abs Reach – cross legs and reach with straight arms to
6. Ab Twists – perform them slow and feet on the ground for modified.
Advanced: Feet off the ground.
7. Lean back ½ way and arms straight out – pulse your arms as though you
were flying to add intensity to abdominal contraction.
8. Straight leg lift (also known as “6 inches”) –hold, up and down, in and out.
You can also do all three adding bring in your knees in and go back out as a
combo move and more advanced.
9. Decline leg in and outs – arms can be on the ground. Advanced: Arms off
the ground.
10.Bicycle – Basic: Sitting up and bringing knees in and touching elbows.
Regular is laying on the ground and alternate knees to elbows. Advanced:
Laying on your back and brining whole body off the ground and touch your
toes on opposite leg.
11. Bow and Arrow – one knee in and one leg straight, straight arm on same
side as straight leg, and bent arm on bent leg, and as leg comes in arms do
the same thing.
12. Partner Abs with high “10s”–lay with legs bent, feet to feet, both partners
have arms remain straight up above head, go down touch the ground with
back of hands, and come up with bent arms and high “10” and repeat.
13. Partner Abs straight-leg lifts – partner stands behind your head and you
hold their ankles. Raise your legs up while partner nicely pushes them back
1. Superman/Swimmer – lie on your stomach and raise your arms and legs off
the ground. DO NOT OVEREXTEND! Move your arms and legs like you
are flying or swimming.
2. Opposite Arm and Leg Raises – lie on your stomach and lift your arms and
legs opposite one another.
3. Back raise w/hands behind your head – lying on your stomach, your
partner is holding your legs your legs and you arch your back lifting your
torso off the ground.
Lower Body:
1. Lunges (solo, with partner or group) – Easies to start with a group to get
students to keep their backs straight and step out correctly. You can have
them put their hands on their hips or on their head when doing them
individually. Advanced: Once they have worked on these to get the form
down, have them really focus on pushing up from the heel of their front foot
to really isolate their hamstrings.
1) Walking lunges
2) Standing lunges – stepping out and back
3) Reverse lunges – stepping backwards and return
4) Side lunges - out to the side more in a diagonal direction.
5) Round the World lunges – front, side, and reverse with one leg, then the
other and repeat.
6) Standing Jump lunges – jump up and alternate legs each time and using
arms to help you jump up. Make sure to land soft and keep feet pointing
2. Squats – arms crossed and fingertips touching opposite shoulders, eyes
looking up to keep back straight (feet shoulder width). Remind them to keep
their feet flat on the ground and only go parallel with the floor, not deeper.
1) Standing squats – feet shoulder width. You can add a wider stance (2
levels) to isolate the glutes more: wider (toes pointing out), and widest
positions (toes pointing out).
2) Jump squats – squat down and explode up and repeat.
3) Squat with side shuffle – sideways down the gym to work all leg
muscles. You can have them perform a full squat in between each side
shuffle if you want.
4) Carioke-cross with squat – great to help strengthen your ACL and you
move sideways down the gym to half or full court.
5) Wall Sits
6) Balance Pendulum – for glute strength – see Flexibility.
7) Single Leg Mini-Squats – most will perform a quarter squat, others may
do more.
8) Standing Broad Jumps – soft landing rotating from heel to toe and bent
knees so you don’t make noise. Make the students really swing their arms
for momentum.
a. Single leg broad jumps – same as above only single leg.
1. Line jumps – double or single leg, four square, diagonal, figure 8 – Similar
to dot drill.
1. Dynamic Stretching – see “warm ups” above
2. Balance Pendulum - for weak glutes (key thing to note: keep a slight bend
in your weight bearing leg and same side arm out for balance).
Advanced: Watch your hand all the way up and all the way down.
Full Body Scooter Workout:
Lower Body:
1. Quads, Hamstring, Glutes – Pushing the scooter with their feet and legs
backwards. Advanced: You can add resistance by having a partner and both
of you hold a jump rope, they pull back to make it harder for you to push
yourself across the gym.
2. Hamstrings and Calves- Pulling themselves back facing forwards and using
their heels.
Upper Body Strength:
1. Knees or bottom on Scooter (Shoulders/ triceps) - Push your body keeping
your arms off to the side for safety.
2. Knees or bottom on Scooter (Shoulders/biceps) – Pull your body
backwards keeping your arms to the side for safety.
3. Scooter Wheelbarrow –
a. Easy: Knees or shins on the scooter and walk on hands to a line and
back without stopping.
b. Hard: Feet (up on toes) on the scooter and holding your body
straight to keep the scooter rolling straight walk on hands.
c. When they get to the destination, make them use their body to
swing the scooter and head back without touching the floor with
their feet. Great for their core!!!
4. Triceps Drag –
a. Easy: Legs are on the scooter at the knees and the student pulls
themselves to a line and back.
b. Hard: Feet are on the scooter with knees up in the air. Creates more
bend in the arms, which makes it harder.
5. Push-up with arm slide out – perform a push-up on knees (easy) or
off (harder) with one hand on the scooter and then push it out to the
side and bring back in. You may alternate or overload one arm.
For Abs:
All of these exercises will work out your full body.
Knees or Feet on Scooter and your body is in a push-up position:
Easy: Knees on scooter (keep butt down) and quickly.
Medium: Knees and slowly
Hard: Feet on scooter (butt down) and slower.
1) Knees to chest and back out.
2) Knees up and out towards the shoulders (More Obliques). Your knees
should come close to the outside of your elbow.
Forearms on Scooter:
Knees on the floor and feet up and crossed.
1) Easy: Roll the scooter out as far as you can and roll it back squeezing
your abs.
2) Medium: Extend arms completely out so body is parallel with the floor.
Use your abs to bring you back in, not arms.
3) Hard: Trying to roll out and make a circle.
Specifically CORE:
Plank: Students can also try to do a plank on the scooter.
Easy: Placing their forearms on the scooter.
Medium: With knees or feet on scooter.
Hard: Lifting one leg will make it harder or try putting it out to the sides.
Side Plank on the Scooter – they can just try to balance on the scooter.
a) Keep knees on the ground and then extend the scooter out with
arms and bring it back trying to isolate your obliques.