Kids Benefit from Core Exercises
Guest post by Dr. Hilary Taglio
A strong core is extremely important, especially for children. The core (abdominal, back and pelvic muscles) is the center of control for everything the body does, and is vital to the progression of developmental skills, balance and body coordination.
Good core stability is key for positive classroom performance, and weak core muscles in children can cause them to struggle with sitting still at a desk and performing fine motor tasks (holding a pencil, controlling scissors etc.), affecting concentration and handwriting.
Too often, many children who struggle with poor trunk stability and learning challenges like to play video games. Although some video games can be educational, they do not promote body movement and activity. Too much sitting causes weak core muscles in children.
5 Reasons Good Core Stability is Important for Your Child
- Helps your child maintain good sitting posture at a desk, without slouching
- Develops a stable, supportive base for gross motor and fine motor skills, enabling the child to keep up with their peers and affords the child more social opportunities
- Prevents low back pain
- Enables your child to use their arms and legs more strongly with better coordination
- Improves attention and calms the child's body in the classroom
Signs of a Weak Core in Children
- Poor gross motor skills (balance/coordination) and general clumsiness
- Low muscle tone or muscles appear floppy
- Fatigues quickly
- Tends to lie on the desk, instead of sitting upright, supports their body weight on their arms and props their head in a hand
- Prefers to lie down to watch TV instead of sitting upright or prefers to lie down during mat work at school
- Poor focus in the classroom
- Hooks arms over the back of a chair, rocks on chair and generally fidgets constantly in a chair
- Slouches their body against a wall or table, instead of standing up straight
- Struggles to balance while lifting one leg off the ground or loses balance easily during gross motor activities and sports
- Avoids climbing on playground equipment and/or trees
Fun & Easy Core Exercises for Kids
To help your child develop trunk strength and stability, try these core strength activities for preschool and beginners:
- Going to the park: hours of climbing trees and jungle gyms, pumping their legs back and forth on a swing etc., will benefit your child immensely.
- Wheelbarrows: hold child’s feet and have them retrieve objects and place them into a bucket.
- Supermans: emulate superman while he flies by having your child lie on their stomach and lift both their arms and their legs off the floor at the same time and hold.
- Playing catch: have the child in a tall kneeling position and play catch with balls of varying sizes and weights. The heavier the ball, the bigger the challenge to the core. Throw at different heights and sides of their body.
- Bouncing on a ball: simply sitting and bouncing on a gym ball is a great core workout by itself.
- Climbing UP a slide
- Crab walking
- Playing tug-of-war
- Climbing, pulling on knotted ropes and walking on balance beams.
In addition to the above strengthening exercises for children, chiropractic adjustments help balance the spinal column and pelvis of misalignments that may have occurred during fetal development, the birth process, accidents/falls or as a result of physical, chemical or emotional stress.
These misalignments can cause a disconnect between the brain and the rest of the body, and can lead to an atypical development of the nervous system, delaying development or contributing to other health issues such as poor core strength in children.
A balanced spine and nervous system is vital for optimal health.
Does Your Child Need Alignment?
Your child may benefit from alignment if they exhibit any of these signs:
- imbalances such as a head tilt (one ear appears to sit higher than the other)
- uneven hips
- a low shoulder
- a twist in the body
- a foot that flares out or flares in
- an unevenness with walking or crawling
We work with many pediatric patients in our office and practice a very precise chiropractic technique, addressing each patient on an individual basis, depending on their needs. If you feel your child's frame is unbalanced or could benefit from chiropractic care, we are here to help.
As a wife and mother of two active little boys, Dr. Taglio understands that life is busy and can easily get out of balance. She knows how important healthy habits are in maintaining a healthy family. She is committed to addressing the whole body and takes a multi-pronged approach to improving the function of the nervous system, by removing nerve interference through chiropractic, addressing nutritional components and incorporating neuromuscular re-education to maintain spinal health and stability. She has made it her mission to help people not only feel great, but also help them reach their highest potential, in whatever their endeavors are. She has a love for children and their healing through chiropractic and nutrition.