We talked before about how you can know if your little one has a weak core. But what if your child is a little older? Maybe pre-school to school age? We are going to list some signs, however it is important to take the whole picture into account. That being said, who couldn’t do with a little more core strength? I know I can!
- Difficulty sitting still – This is hard because they have a hard time staying stable. When they move they are using their muscles and the movement to help them with stability. If they stop moving they may have a harder time keeping their muscles turned on or coordinating them to keep their core still and stable. To be fair, they could also be looking for the sensory input of the movement. You can try giving them a different type of sitting option such as a therapy ball or a wiggle stool or a disc to help.
- Props head on their hands – This is similar to above. They have a hard time finding the stability. By propping their head on their hands they are not only able to give their head a little extra support but they are able to provide some bracing which can help activate the other core muscles.
- Slumps into support, always leaning into things – You may be noticing a theme here. When you have a weak core it is hard to maintain upright posture so you like to sink into support wherever you can find it. This can lead to the fidgeting if there isn’t the extra support, or the challenge listed next!
- May fall out of their chair – See above. We hear of this alot from teachers. There are some tricks to help wake muscles up and this can be why movement during the day is so important. I know that when I start my day with yoga I’ve reminded my posture/core muscles to turn on and they function better throughout the day.
- Difficulty changing body positions – When you move from one position to the next you need to find stability throughout the movement so you don’t fall or collapse. In addition, many kids find a position that they are stable in and don’t like to move from it so you will see them in a go to position all the time. We want to encourage changing positions frequently!
- W-sits as primary position on the floor – W-sitting is a highly stable sitting position. They don’t need a lot of core activation to sit in this position. When you see your little one using this as the main way they sit on the floor you want to start working on their core and transitions!
- Slouched or slumped sitting posture – This is very similar to above where we talk about slumping into support and holding their head in their hands.
- Difficulty maintaining attention – If your little on has a weak core and they have to spend a lot of time concentrating on keeping their balance in their chair or maintaining their posture, it is tiring and makes it hard to focus and learn.
- Trouble with fine motor tasks – Your core is your foundation. When you have a strong core it makes doing things with your hands, feet, and head a lot easier. If you have a weak core and can’t hold it steady it would be like trying to use your hands with cooked spaghetti as a core! It would definitely be challenging!
- Challenges with gross motor tasks and frequent loss of balance – same as above. Your core is your foundation and makes all other movement easier!
If you are looking for norms for testing here is a great resource!
Also check out our Core Round-Up. We will keep adding to it as we develop more resources!