Core muscles?  Core strengthening?  For children??  What the heck are they talking about?  Why can’t we just let kids be kids?

Rest assured, we’re not talking about doing workouts with your kids until they have ripped, six-pack abs.  That’s not the idea here.  What we are talking about is giving kids a solid foundation to build on for the development of every other gross motor skill under the sun.  And that foundation just happens to be the core muscles.

The easiest way to illustrate how important core strength is for kids is to discuss what it looks like when kids have weak core muscles.  Here are some of the most common tell-tale signs that a child needs to work on core strengthening.

1    Slumping while standing or sitting in a chair

2   Leaning head on one hand while writing or reading

3   Leaning on desk while writing or reading

4   Leaning on furniture or other people in standing

5   Avoiding gross motor games and activities (playground, sports)

6   Fidgeting in seat and having difficulty sitting still or paying attention

7   Difficulty with fine motor control and accuracy (handwriting, cutting with scissors)

8   Difficulty with mobility skills: rolling, crawling, cruising, walking

9   Difficulty transitioning from one position to another (from lying down to sitting, from sitting to standing, from kneeling to standing)

10 Difficulty with balance challenges (balance beam, jumping, stairs)

11  Difficulty with maintaining upright posture when sitting unsupported (sitting on the floor)

12 Difficulty with stabilizing the body during dressing and self care tasks (putting on pants/shoes/socks)

13 Frequently sitting in a w-sitting position during play

14 Difficulty with endurance for motor tasks

15 Difficulty with bilateral coordination