Function at a young age is often unquestioned. Kids run, play and laugh … right? We don't need to intervene to help promote healthy movement, they can do it on their own. Or maybe we drop them off at football or other organised sports a couple of days per week – that helps them develop skill and fitness. But is there more we can do? Can we show them how to move a load through space? Can we move with them? What happens then?

My boys have used ViPR through play for several years. They drag, roll, tilt and knock down the 6 and 10kg models, but now they have their own 2kg versions. From the moment they saw them, they absolutely loved them, now they can lift, shift and throw ViPR! They use the 2kg ViPR in their own play to create new patterns, all without realising the benefits their little bodies are receiving by moving with load.

The benefits of children moving with load throughout the day include:

  • training their bodies to overcome resistance1
  • developing motor strategies beyond what they ‘need’ for everyday play1
  • strengthening their joints in unique ways
  • co-ordination
  • improving bone density2.

These are just a few of the benefits of using load when working with children. Some of these are obvious, however; the not-so-obvious benefits are often more powerful – such as confidence! Can you imagine the confidence your kids get when moving a heavy load through space? There is nothing more exciting than hearing a child say, "Wow, I did it!" It's fun and it promotes good habits that they will carry forward from a young age.

You can enhance all of these benefits by training with your kids. Create your own ViPR patterns and put them to music or change the environment … a big field, the woods, a playground. Use your creativity to laugh, squat, tilt and shift your way to better fitness with your kids.

For information on the 2kg ViPR:

Children playing with ViPR

2 Specker, B, Thiex, NW, Sudhagoni (2015) Does Exercise Influence Pediatric Bone? A Systematic Review, Clin Orthop Relat Res, 473(11):3658-3672.