The Physioball is a great piece of equipment for kids of all ages! It can be used to strengthen different muscles and improve balance and control while still being fun. Here are 5 ideas to get you started, but the possibilities are endless if you just get creative! (And we’d love to hear your favorite ways to use one)
- Trunk and head righting: Holding a child in a seated position on the ball and slowly rocking the ball side to side promotes core activation and control of righting the head or trunk (torso) over the correct position of the rest of the body. Rolling the ball back and forth can facilitate sit ups great for strengthening. It helps to sing a song to keep the child engaged. Baby Shark has been a popular song on the ball around here, kids don’t even notice they’re working their core.
- Seated bouncing: Something as simple as being seated on the ball with feet on the ground and bouncing is beneficial for ankle mobility and dorsiflexion activation (the muscles that lift the toes and foot closer to the leg) by driving the tibia (shin) forward.
- Ball Wall Squats: Place a ball between a wall and the mid back of the child. Start in a standing position with feet hip or shoulder distance apart. Slowly lower down into a squat position and return to standing. This is a great exercise to use in a circuit of exercises for strengthening the legs and hips.
- Sit to stand: In a similar movement to ball wall squats, you can practice sit to stands on the ball to increase balance and strength. There are a lot of size options for Physioballs. Using a smaller ball for this exercise will be more challenging than using a larger ball.
- Walkouts: Have the child start by lying on the ball on their stomach and slowly walking themselves forward with straight arms on the ground. As they move forward make sure their back and torso is straight before moving backwards. This really is a full body workout! It’s a fun way to strengthen the core, shoulders and arms. The further out they walk, the harder it will be to maintain stability in their torso. Start with only walking out a short distance and then coming back, as that gets easier progress further and further.
Looking for different sizes? Here are a few: