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Core stability

Core stability means having strong stomach, back, shoulder and hip muscles which are necessary to help maintain a good posture and stable movement of your arms, legs and head.

If your child has poor core stability, you’ll notice that they struggle with:

  • Remaining upright in their seat
  • Standing without leaning on walls or other people
  • Holding postures against gravity
  • Carrying out both fine and gross motor activities
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Concentration and attention

There are a number of activities which can help improve core stability, including:

  • Asking them to sit on a chair, hold on to the edge of it, and push their body up from the seat with their arms. They should try to do this 5 to 10 times in a row
  • Asking them to hold both arms out to the side at shoulder height and make small circles. Gradually ask them to make the circles bigger and then smaller again. Start with a few repetitions and try to get up to 10 circles with practice
  • Asking your child to stand one-and-a-half arm’s lengths away from a wall. Ask them to stretch their hands out in front of them and place their hands flat on the wall. Then bring their face to the wall, keeping their body straight and their feet still, before pushing back again. They should aim to do this 10 times in a row
  • Asking them to lie on their stomach and raise their head off the ground. Then ask them to raise their arms and finally their legs so only their stomach is on the floor. They should aim to hold this for 10 seconds if possible
  • Asking them to lie on their back and pull their knees up so their feet are flat on the ground. Keeping their hands and feet on the ground, ask them to tip their pelvis and flatten their back. Then ask them to lift their bottom off the floor and hold the position for 10 seconds if possible
  • Encouraging them to lie on their back and pull their knees up so their feet are flat on the ground. Ask them to place hands on their thighs, tuck their chin onto their chest (to stop them overusing their neck muscles) and run their hands up towards their knees while lifting their head and shoulders off the ground. Ask them to repeat this several times, going a little higher each time
  • Asking them to sit on the floor with their legs out in front of them and their arms crossed. Ask them to move forward by shifting their weight from hip to hip whilst moving one leg forward. Keep alternating which leg moves forward
  • Kneel in front of your child and place your hands flat against theirs. Push against each other, staying in an upright position, and then try pulling against each other

Make sure your child is supervised during all of these activities and, if you’re doing these activities indoors, make sure that their shoes and socks are off.

Try to choose a couple of activities each time to help prevent boredom and keep the activities interesting.

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