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Did you know that core strength is important for your child's performance in the classroom?
Without a stable core, your child may struggle to sit still at a desk and to carry out fine motor tasks. This in turn may affect concentration and the quality of written work.
The core muscles are the many different muscles in the abdomen and back that work together to support your spine and hold you upright.
The muscles around the shoulder girdle and the hips also form part of the core.
These core muscles help to stabilise the body so that your arms can work effectively.
Imagine trying to paint a wall while dangling from a rope or working on a wobbly stepladder. The paint will go everywhere and it will be really hard to get the paint to land on the right spot.
Just as you need your stepladder to be your stable base in order to paint effectively, your upper body needs a stable core in order to carry out your daily tasks with minimum effort and no strain on your body.
These are some signs that your child may be struggling with weak core muscles:
An assessment by a pediatric physical therapist or occupational therapist can help to identify and treat the underlying cause of the poor core stability, which may be low muscle tone, developmental delay, sensory processing disorder or a genetic disorder among other things. This page is not intended to diagnose or treat any disorder!
Most children nowadays need some encouragment to get away from their screens and get active. Going to the park, playing outdoors, and engaging in gross motor games and sports are great ways to improve your child's endurance, strength and core stability.
But sometimes our kids need some more specific, targeted activities to encourage optimum development of the core and shoulder girdle muscles. I have put together a few helpful tips and photographed activities on my website that you can easily do at home... check them out!
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K Au, M.; M Chan, W.; Lee, L.; MK Chen, T.; MW Chau, R.; and
Pang, M. Core Stability Exercise Is As Effective As Task-Oriented Motor Training In Improving Motor Proficiency In Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Clinical Rehabilitation.
28(10) March 2014. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269215514527596 (abstract only)
Oliver, G.; Stone, A.; Weimar, W.; Lemak, L.; Washington, J.; and Dougherty, C. Upper Extremity Muscle Activation during Bodyblade Exercises Following Six Weeks of Intervention Focusing on the Lumbopelvic-Hip Complex. Sports 2015, 3(3), 188-201; 3. 188-201. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports3030188
Oliver, G.; Stone, A.; Plummer, H. (2010). Electromyographic Examination of Selected Muscle Activation During Isometric Core Exercises. Clin J Sport Med. 2010 Nov; 20(6):452-7. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181f7b0ef. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21079441
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