Identifying Core Weakness

Identifying Core Weakness

The term core refers to the muscles in your back and abdomen that allow you to sit upright with ease. As adults we may think of doing planks and crunches as a way to strengthen our core. Often, lower back pain is caused or aggravated by a weak core.

It will probably come as no surprise that developing a strong core begins in early childhood! Core strength lays the foundation for the rest of fine and gross motor to be able to develop, because it is the stabilizing force in the body. A child with a strong core will better be able to coordinate their arms and legs in sports, not to mention find more strength in the use of their limbs. A strong core will also allow a child to sit at a desk for long periods of time. While, preschool is definitely not a time for sitting at a desk, it is important to set kids up for success in this before they go off to kindergarten.

So, how can you identify if a child has a weak core? Here are some things to look out for:

During circle or story time:

  • Does a child have a hard time sitting up?
  • Do they quickly switch from sitting to lying on the floor?
  • Do they act out in order to be given a chair to sit in?
  • Do they move to sit against a wall or piece of furniture that they can lean against?

During table time:

  • Do they tend to lean their body heavily on the table?
  • Do they rest their elbow on the table and support their head in it while writing, drawing, or working on a puzzle?
  • Do they slouch in order to lean against the back of the chair during meal times?

During gross motor play:

  • Do they struggle to maintain balance?
  • Can they stand on one foot while lifting the other off the ground without losing balance?
  • Are they generally clumsy?
  • Do they avoid climbing?

A combination of some or all of these things might be a sign of a weak core. It's important to take note of them over time because a child being tired or ill could also cause some of these behaviors.

Activities to Develop Core Strength

What We're Learning:

  • the foundation for so many fine and gross motor activities