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These shoulder exercises for kids can help to improve their shoulder girdle stability. This may aid in developing their fine motor skills.
Check out the helpful info and easy exercises on this page that may help your child improve shoulder stability and strength.
Click on the quick links below to view individual exercises or just scroll through them all!
Easy Shoulder Girdle Stability Exercises:
Classroom exercises for shoulder stability:
If you are physically fit, then demonstrate this by lying on your tummy and pulling yourself along with your forearms. Encourage your child to not splay the arms too wide, or to use the legs too much - the leopard crawl should work the upper body the most.
This is a great obstacle course or follow-my-leader activity (especially if an adult is involved!). Doing it under tables and chairs is a great incentive, and as an outdoor activity, it lends itself well to a jungle or army theme party!
The photo on the right shows the child splaying his arms and thus not working the shoulder girdle muscles as effectively.
Pushing exercises encourage your child to activate the shoulder girdle muscles through pushing hard.
Encourage your child to keep the elbows slightly bent, so the arms are not straight. This helps the shoulder girdle muscles to work most effectively.
Take note of the difference between effective and ineffective positioning, then have fun trying out the activities that follow!
Try a Wall Push or a People Push - my kids always love trying to push an adult (sometimes we let them win!).
Tell your child the wall is falling down, and ask your child to push it to keep it up!
You can have your child push for a count of 5 or 10 seconds, run around the garden and then come back for another push.
Make sure your child has only the hands on the wall (no forearms, trunk or shoulders), and try and keep elbows slightly bent.
For the People Push, have both pushers put their hands together as shown in the photo above, with both pushers keeping elbows slightly bent.
Stand with one foot behind the other and on the count of 3, PUSH each other as hard as possible until one of you moves backwards. (Cue a sibling to let a younger child win some!)
Have your child crouch facing the wall, putting the hands on the ball.
Have your child "walk" the ball up from the floor with his/her hands until the ball is at shoulder level.
Then "walk" the ball along the length of wall, keeping it at the same height. Repeat a few times. Your child's hands should cross over as the ball moves along.
Aim for slow controlled movements – the child who wants to do it quickly can sometimes be compensating for the lack of stability needed to do it slowly in a controlled way!
These are great shoulder girdle exercises for kids to do before starting any writing sessions. They are also good to help fidgety kids focus as they give great proprioceptive input!
Place palms together, with elbows out and forearms held horizontally as in the photo.
Now have your child push the hands together as hard as possible and hold for 5 seconds.
Repeat a few times.
Have your child place hands on either side of the chair and PUSH, until his/her bottom rises off the chair.
Hold for 3 - 5 counts.
Ask your child to try and lift his/her feet off the floor and hold them off while doing the push-ups.
All of these exercises and more can be found in my Shoulder Exercises for Kids E-book.
Check it out - photos, instructions and helpful tips in a nifty PDF download!
The shoulder girdle muscles are often considered to be part of the "core muscles".
So why not check out my Core Exercises as well, or some of my other gross motor pages?
Wondering how doing shoulder exercises for kids can help improve fine motor skills? Hop over to read about the Essential Bases for Fine Motor Development.
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