In today’s podcast, I’m going to talk about a couple of benefits of utilizing circuit training in your Physical Education classes from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Welcome to the PE Express podcast. Two to three times a week at PE expert will share a tip activity idea or teaching strategy to help you become a better PE professional. Today’s host is a High School Health and Physical Education teacher and former PEP grant winner from Pennsylvania, Jason Gemberling
Circuit training has always been something that we’ve utilized in our Phys Ed classes at Midwest High School in an effort to get as many kids active as possible. It’s one of those things where if we’re doing a variety of activities and we give them choice I can have a large number of kids doing a small circuit in our auxiliary gym. I can also do as a whole group class, a circuit training unit where we’re doing main gym. We have every kid busy, every kids active. Some of the benefits of this: You aren’t gonna have kids sitting out and kids aren’t going to be looking at other kids and what they’re doing there. They’re all busy and that’s great because you don’t have that oh so and so was looking at me kind of complex. Every kid is active. Every kid is busy. There’s no distractions there.
Another one of the benefits is that if you’re a single teacher and you’re teaching a huge class, maybe you’ve got 50, 60, 70 kids unfortunately and that’s really, I really wish that wasn’t the case but sometimes that is with budget cuts and things like that. Circuit training gives you that opportunity in that flexibility to do an entire class of 60 kids and maybe you have 12 circuit stations and they’re all doing something different. You’re maybe working some legs in one station, some upper body on the other, doing some cardio on another one. It’s just a great way to keep that entire class active, focused and working and it’s really great for them as well.
Another benefit to it is it, it does help you. It gives you the flexibility of if you want to do a small circuit in one part of your gym and then you have a team sport activity, like pickleball in another section of your gym, you can still, if you’re one teacher, see a lot of kids being active because pickleball might, you might have room for three courts but then you have 16, 17, maybe 20 kids doing circuit training in another spot.
Another thing that you can really think about is, I know a lot of people are concerned about, I don’t have the equipment, I don’t have a rack of med balls. I don’t have body bars, I don’t have strength bands. You don’t need it! If you think about circuit training, you can do an entire unit or an entire circuit, all body weight. You could have them doing pushups, you can have them doing dolphin planks or a plank. You could have them doing jumping jacks, seal jacks. They can be doing 8-count bodybuilders. Anything that doesn’t require equipment you can utilize. Maybe you have some equipment, s o some of the stations or equipment usage, some of the stations are just that. Again using that body weight. The other really cool thing about circuits is really you can do them from kindergarten through 12th grade. We’ve had kids in our elementary classes doing small circuits. Now granted they’re not going to do a lot of things with weights or bands or anything that they’re going to do a lot of body.
In sit ups, maybe you’re going to utilize it as a small station, a circuit station over here. Again, cause you’re doing a little bit more one on one skill development with a queuing with certain kids on how to throw a ball or how to catch a ball. Now you’re all your classes active as opposed to you working one on one with one student and 15 other kids are just standing watching. It’s a great tool. It’s a great opportunity to get kids active. Again, it’s a lifelong skill for them to learn. You know, they can learn how to go through and do circuit training. They could do it at their own home. They don’t need to pay that money for that membership to a gym. If you teach them how to do a circuit, you explained to them what you’re trying to get out of the circuit.
They can create that on their own at home and maybe that’s an assignment. Maybe you give your students the assignment where they have to teach their parents a circuit and a half to build it and then you have to talk to them about it and then they go home and they work out with mom and dad or grandma or their aunts and uncles or maybe their siblings and now you’ve taken your Phys Ed class and you’ve pushed it to the home and it’s just a great way to get everybody involved and everyone active. Again, can’t stress enough. Try out that circuit training. Try out how you can differentiate and within the circuit and get a lot of kids active in a short amount of time. Have Fun. Good luck.