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Pelvic stability

Pelvic stability is the ability of your hip and pelvis muscles to tense and support your body during movement. Children start to develop this stability when they begin rolling and crawling. Pelvic stability has a huge impact on our ability to do the following things:

  • Stabilising our body so we can sit, stand and walk
  • Letting us balance in weight-bearing positions
  • Allowing us to coordinate the movements of our lower limbs

If your child has pelvic instability, you might notice that they struggle with:

  • Balancing on one foot
  • Hopping
  • Running, jumping and skipping
  • Going up and down steps and stairs
  • Playing sports
  • Dancing

There are a number of techniques you can use to help your child develop and strengthen their pelvic stability, including:

  • Asking them to lie on their back on the floor with their knees up and their feet flat on the ground. Keeping their shoulders on the ground, ask them to lift their bottom and see how long they can hold the ‘bridge’ up (Bridging)
  • Asking your child to catch a ball while high kneeling (both knees on the floor) and then half kneeling (one knee on floor and one foot on floor)
  • Asking them to stand with a ball under one foot and then the other, encouraging them to do it a little bit longer each time
  • Asking them to dribble a ball around an obstacle course, keeping their foot on the ball the whole time
  • Having crawling races. Pretend to be animals or blow a ping pong ball or cotton wool ball as you go to make it more fun
  • Holding onto your child’s hips or thighs and trying to stop them crawling to a set point (resisted crawling)
  • Getting them to sit on the floor and, using their hands and feet to push themselves up, lift their bottom off the floor and walk around like a crab. Try playing a game of ‘crab football’ to make it more fun
  • Encouraging them to do different postures with floor contact games. Call out the number one, two, three or four to your child and ask them to place that number of limbs on the floor, e.g. 1 = stand on one leg, 4 = knees and hands on floor
  • Playing Twister
  • Roller-skating, ice-skating and cycling

If you’ve tried all of these techniques and you’re still not seeing any improvement after four months, please do contact your GP or health visitor.