The Importance of Core Strength
Have you ever stopped to think about why having a strong core is so important? Have you considered that the core is more than a set of “six pack abs,” but is the foundation for all forms of movement?
During physical therapy, you will often see us working on a variety of exercises focused on strengthening the core in the clinic and in schools. Through the use of peanut balls, balancing on one leg, reaching outside the base of support for different objects, fun bear walks and crab walks, and even the traditional planks and sit-ups, core strength is incorporated into virtually everything we do. In this blog, we will discuss why core strength is important, how to recognize if your child has a weak core, and exercises you can do to help strengthen your child’s core.
Why is Core Strength Important?
The core consists of abdominal muscles, back muscles, and muscles around the pelvis, and are the foundation for our bodies. They support and stabilize us in everything we do. They are essential for gross motor and fine motor development as well as assist in the functioning of internal organs. The ability to sit, crawl, kneel, stand, walk, climb, jump, write, eat, pick up toys without support, etc all start with a strong core foundation.
Signs of a Weak Core
Common signs of a weak core in your child includes, but is not limited to:
- Poor posture when standing or sitting with regular need to lean on a stable surface for support
- Increased fidgeting when sitting
- “W-sitting” in which while sitting on the ground, a child’s knees are bent to either side of their body creating a “W” shape with their legs
- Difficulty with fine motor activities such as handwriting
- Gross motor delays (running, crawling, standing, jumping, sitting, etc.)
What can you do to strengthen your child’s core?
Below you will find an activity card deck that focuses on building core strength, in a kid-friendly way. Simply download, print double sided (flip on short side setting,) and cut out the activity cards to start using them. This card deck is kid-friendly, so that they can chose the activity they would like to do next from the pictures.
Download your copy here: Core Strength Printable Deck
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