Advanced Pediatric Therapies


Core Strength: The foundation for posture

We OT’s often talk about core strength for your child.  You may be wondering, why is it so important?

woman holding baby smiling

Photo by Singkham on

Core strength serves as the essential building block of posture.  It functions to support many different mechanisms both in school and at home.  These include running, jumping, sitting and writing, sitting and paying attention to a teacher, balls skills, respiration, balance, sports skills and oral motor control.

Wow!  It helps to know what the muscles of the core are.  You can find a more detailed description in this excellent article.  But it basically includes everything from the chest down and the groin up.  It is the trunk of the tree of the body.  That means if the arms and legs are being used (the branches), the trunk has to tighten up and support them as they move away from the body.  Whenever you move your limbs, your core has a part to play.

So what might you see if your child’s core is weak?  This is not an exhaustive list, nor does it mean that the core is weak if a few of these are present, but it is helpful to know what types of things can be affected.  If your child has a weak core, you may or may not observe the following:  poor fine motor skills, problems with gross motor skills (running, jumping, ball skills), lifting head  while seated (making paying attention difficult), quick fatigue, problems with balance, leaning heavily on objects or people and poor posture.

We can give you a suitable home program to address these skills once these skills are evaluated.  Talk to your OT about what you can do.  In the meantime…animal walks, kid yoga and kicking a ball are all great ways to strengthen up.  And don’t be afraid to join in, lots of adults have a weak core too!






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