Core Strengthening

Core strength is the development of the trunk muscles that stabilize, align and move the trunk of the body.  Appropriate core strength provides the skeleton to allow gross and fine motor skills to be completed from a stable base. Developing strong core strength is like building a strong foundation for your child. It is the basis for the progression of nearly all other developmental skills.

 

Here are 10 core strengthening activities that children can incorporate into their day:

  1. Lay in prone (on belly) on the floor, propped up on elbows while watching movies, playing games (video games, board games, etc.) or reading. “Tummy time” is not just important for babies but for all children who have decreased core strength.
  2. Tall kneel at a window while using dry erase marker to practice spelling words on a window, complete homework taped to the window, or decorate a window for the next holiday with washable window crayons or window clings.
  3. Sit on an exercise ball or any ball that allows the child to have feet level on the ground while eating dinner, doing homework, making a craft, playing games or watching TV.
  4. Crawling through tunnels, under furniture, over beds or playing games (board games, card games, etc.) in the hands and knees or in the squatting position are also core strengthening activities.
  5. Jumping activities such as jumping jacks, jump rope, hopscotch, hippity hops or jumping on a trampoline activate upper and lower body muscles.
  6. Heavy work chores such as carrying groceries or laundry baskets, pushing a vacuum, shoveling snow, raking leaves, etc.
  7. Riding a bike as core muscles have to be engaged to stay balanced and upright.
  8. Play on playground equipment. Climb up ladders or rock walls, sit upright when sliding down slides, swinging, monkey bars, etc.
  9. Venture outdoors. Hike up and down hills, over logs, across streams, climb on rocks, roll up and down hills…
  10. Extracurricular activities: swimming, yoga, karate, dance, sports, band…and of course, HORSEBACK RIDING! 🙂