Core strength is the development of the torso muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body. Poor core strength can cause poor posture which can also affect gross motor and fine motor skills. Building strong core strength is like building a strong foundation for your child.
Core strength development starts as an infant. Ever wonder why “tummy time” is so important? When an infant has an opportunity to lie on his tummy, he learns to lift his head which helps to strengthen the neck and upper back muscles. This will help the infant to begin supporting the weight of his own head and to be able to look around in response to sounds. It will also prepare the infant for such developmental milestones such as crawling, rolling over, and sitting up independently.
Core Exercises for Babies and Toddlers
For infants and very young children, doing the following activities can help build a strong core, Allison advises in the August Little Steps newsletter.
- Reaching for objects while laying on their belly or sitting up by themselves
- Pulling themselves up to stand from sitting on the floor
- Playing with toys while kneeling
- Crawling on an uneven surface
- Rolling from their back to their belly (in both directions)
Core Exercises for School-Age Children
Older children who could benefit from stronger core muscles can see improvement through the following exercises,.
- Riding a bike
- Jumping on a trampoline
- Climbing on playground equipment
- Walking like a bear or crab