KidStrong Tackles More Than Just the Physical

by | Jun 2024

Primary school boy and other kids exercising a balancing table yoga pose during extracurricular gym class to help with posture and core body strength


KidStrong opens in Woodbury with ninja courses—and a focus on mental and emotional health.

For modern kids, the list of available activities can seem endless (and sometimes overwhelming), from intensive sports training for even the youngest athletes to specialized academic paths and unlimited global entertainment via their screens. For parents, helping their children choose activities that balance physical and mental health can be challenging.

A new studio in Woodbury hopes to change that by offering families an all-in-one membership for young children that combines physical, mental and emotional development. KidStrong runs 45-minute classes that have been built by child development experts and include activities for the body—like obstacle courses and tumbling—and the brain. “We focus on three main pillars,” says regional director Tayler Wilson. “Brain development, physical development and character development.”

KidStrong’s gym sessions are run by coaches who usually have backgrounds in early childhood education and have expertise in physical development, too. “We focus on milestones like agility, accuracy and coordination,” Wilson says. “We’re also helping build confidence in these kiddos to teach them about leadership and teamwork.” There’s an emphasis on connecting with classmates and building friendships and helping more introverted kids come out of their shells at their own pace.

“We always start each session with an affirmation,” Wilson says. Affirmations include, “I am strong. I am brave. I can do this.” KidStrong athletes can take that affirmation with them and use it where they need it: at home, at school or on the playground. “We do a social greeting where we practice eye contact and a handshake or fist bump, and then we go into an obstacle course or ninja course,” she says. Exercises are designed to hone everything from balance to grip strength. “There’s a lot of running and cardio, and in between activities, we’re working on brain development,” Wilson says.

Open since early March, KidStrong’s Woodbury franchise—co-owned by three Woodbury and St. Paul residents—is the second in Minnesota. The company originated in Kentucky, says Wilson, and was the brainchild of the folks behind the popular Orangetheory Fitness chain. “They wanted a similar concept but for kids,” Wilson says. “It’s a great opportunity for the younger generation to build that confidence.”

Sessions are open to all kids, from new walkers (starting at 11 months) to older elementary schoolers (up to age 11). “We involve all kids, including those with autism or other disabilities,” Wilson says. “We’re in contact with a lot of physical and occupational therapists who refer their clients to our program.” That wide range means KidStrong is a welcoming environment for all kids—even those who just need a place to expend some energy and make new friends. “For kids to be able to come here, to be themselves in a safe space and be loud is something we really strive for,” Wilson says.

1505 Queens Drive; 651.386.1144
Facebook: KidStrong Woodbury (Woodbury, MN)
Instagram: @kidstrong_woodbury


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