Core Strengthening – How to know if my child has a weak core and what do I do about it?
Why is core strength important for children?
· A strong, engaged core is important for many activities that your child may participate in! Whether they are a 6-month-old baby or a 10 year old child, core strength is essential to perform daily activities and participate in age-appropriate skills.
· Core weakness can also contribute to decreased breath support required for speech production. Core strengthening has been used in physical therapy/speech therapy co-treatments to improve these skills!
How do I know my child has a weak core?
· Child may walk with their belly sticking out with an increased curve in their lower back, indicating decreased core engagement.
· If your child W-sits, this is also a sign of a weak core. When a child sits in this position, they increase their “base of support” and do not need to recruit their abdominal muscles to maintain upright.
· A child with poor balance skills may also have a weak core and could benefit from a skilled pediatric physical therapy evaluation to assess their need for services.
What are some activities to improve core strength in physical therapy?
· Sitting on a yoga ball or peanut ball
· Prone walk outs
· Animal walks
· And many more!