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Baby and Toddler Time: Easy activity to improve your child’s core strength

Click here to check out a video of an easy way to improve baby and toddler trunk strength

If there is one activity that I wish each family would do with their child, it would be this one! As a pediatric physical therapist, some variation of this activity is typically the first thing I do at the beginning of each session because if your trunk is not ready and active it is hard to get the rest of the body active.

This is an easy activity that you can do anywhere, with anything to strengthen you child’s core muscles. Think of this activity as a side plank combined with an oblique sit up…. feel the burn!
This activity is great for babies who are able to support weight on their extended arms (some time after 7 months) all they way up to childhood. In fact, sit on a chair and try it yourself, it’s not easy!

Tips for this activity
. Hold child facing you with legs straddling your body
. Place toy diagonally behind the child so they will reach to get it with an extended trunk, not flexed
. Hold child at their trunk, the lower you hold, the more the child has to work, for younger children you may hold at the upper chest and for older children at the waist or lower
. Slowly lower child to the floor so they support themselves on one arm and reach for the toy with the other arm, this brings rotation into the movement which is very important for core strength
. When It is time to get up, gently press down on the top hip while just supporting the child on the lower side to encourage the child to sit up
. Do 8-10 times per side
. I love doing this with puzzle pieces. It is perfect!

Enjoy and let me know how it works for you!

For more developmental exercises and tips for your little one, please like this page and check out babiesfirstfitness.com.

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