Primary Locomotor Movements

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Primary Locomotor Movements

This video, developed by a physical education specialist, helps you teach basic motor skills to students. Learn fun and interesting ways to teach walking, marching, running, jogging, hopping, skipping, sliding, and galloping safely and successfully.

Try some simple exercises that help you use all the parts of your body.

  1. Students will understand the walking movement.
    1. Marching in place: First, students should stand facing the center of the circle and walk or march in place. Have the students clap to the rhythm of their steps.
    2. Practice: Once students understand the basics of the movement, they can march forward toward the center of the circle and back toward the outside of the circle. Then, the students can march forward and backward around the circle, making sure that they look over the shoulder as they are marching backward.
    3. Students will understand the running movement.
      1. Arm movement: Students should pretend that they are holding a glass of water in each hand. While holding the glasses of water, the students should swing their arms back and forth; the elbow should swing back too.
      2. Once the students understand the arm movements, they can practice the running movement: The students should jog around the circle making sure that they are breathing through the nose and mouth, and that they are swinging both arms correctly and in pace with the legs. In addition, students should look where they are going by keeping their eyes focused ahead of them.
      3. Practice: Students can practice running and stopping safely by playing a game. The students should start by running around the circle. When the teacher blows the whistle, the students must stop. When the teacher blows the whistle again, the students can jog around the circle again. Have the students practice this game until they master the running movement.
    4. Students will understand the jumping movement.
      1. The jump and landing: When jumping, one leaves the ground by pushing off with both feet and lands on both feet. Students should be sure that they land on the balls of their feet, and that their knees are bent; this technique will allow the knees and feet to act as springs and absorb the landing.
      2. Practice: Students can practice jumping slowly and rapidly, and high and low.
      3. Students will understand the hopping movement.
        1. Beginning position: First, students should shift all their weight to one foot and then lift the other foot in the air. The students should stretch their arms out at their sides; this will help them balance on one foot.
        2. The hop and the landing: The students should push off the ground with the foot on which their weight is shifted and then land on the ball of that same foot. The knee should be bent and both the knee and foot should absorb the landing.
        3. Practice: Students should first practice the starting position with both feet. Then, the students may hop in place on one foot and then the other foot. Once students master hopping in place, they can hop forward toward the center of the circle, and then change feet, turn around, and hop forward back to their original position. Then, the students may hop around the circle and alternate feet every time they hear a whistle.
      4. Students will understand the skipping movement.
        1. Facing the center of the circle, students should step forward on one foot, lift the back foot, balance, and hop on the supporting (forward) foot. Then, the students should step forward on the other foot, lift the back foot, balance, and hop on the supporting foot (step, lift, hop; step, lift, hop; step, lift, hop...).
        2. Practice: Students should continue the movement around the circle. They can skip fast then slow; they can skip with bigger stride and then with a smaller stride.
      5. Students will understand the slide movement:
        1. First, the students should stand so that their feet are pointing toward the center of the circle. The right foot should step out to the side; then, the left foot should push off and step together with the right foot (step, push, step, push, step, push, step...). Students should be sure not to drag their feet across the ground.
        2. Practice: Students can practice the sliding movement in one direction around the circle and then change direction when they hear the whistle. Have the students slide slowly then slide swiftly.
      6. Students will understand the gallop movement.
        1. Starting position: The students' feet and bodies should face forward with one foot out in front of the other foot.
        2. The gallop: First, students should step forward with their front foot, and then the back foot should step behind the heel of the front foot and push off (step, push, step, push, step, push, step...). Students should make sure that the back foot never passes the front foot.
        3. Practice: Students should practice around the perimeter of the circle with one foot in the lead and then change the lead foot when they hear the whistle. Students may practice slowly or rapidly.

  1. Clothing Tip: Students should wear clothes that will allow them to move comfortably. In addition, students should wear tennis shoes, which will provide traction on the blacktop.

    Safety Tip: During the instructional period, students and the teacher will need to stand in a circle. Spacer arms should be used to establish each student's personal space. Teaching the students a listening position, using a phrase like "straight standing," will help to eliminate undesirable behavior. In addition, students will change speeds and directions when they practice the movements, so the teacher should make sure that the changes occur slowly, before the class is moving full speed around the circle.

    Stopping Safely: When the students must stop running, skipping, sliding, or galloping, they should bend their knees and lower their body; this technique will lower their center of gravity and prevent them from falling over during a quick stop. For added balance, students should put their arms out to their sides.