The number one reason why a child is ‘clumsy’, slouches, has poor handwriting or struggles to be included in games during recess and sports

Does your child have difficulty keeping up with their friends in the playground or during sport? Do they get tired quickly when doing physical activity or fidget constantly when sitting at a desk or table to write or eat dinner?

Low muscle tone (hypotonia) ‘floppy muscles’ may be the reason why. Many children with low tone have delays in their gross motor skill development meaning they aren’t physically able to do the same things as other children their age.

The top 3 problems children with Hypotonia have are:

1. Delayed development of motor skills like running and jumping as a result of muscle weakness and poor coordination and balance which in turn can lead to decreased confidence and self esteem.

2. Difficulty maintaining an upright posture. The increased effort of maintaining a good posture to enable the child to write at a desk or even hold a pencil or pen correctly can lead to fatigue. As a result they end up falling behind with school work and not achieving their full academic potential.

3. Joint pain. This is common in older children, and adults, who have not received specialist care and advice to protect their joints.

With the expert guidance of paediatric Physiotherapists and Occupational therapists, who will develop targeted treatment and exercise programs, the child can improve their strength and coordination. This will improve their overall motor skill development in line with their peers meaning they can enjoy their time on the playground and during sports.

Strengthening core muscles and having and an improved pencil grip will lead to less fatigue. This in turn will result in better concentration and writing ability leading to more academic achievements. Having stronger muscles will also decrease the chances of joint injury and pain later in life.

Not all Physiotherapists and Occupational therapists are the same, Paediatric therapists are experts on the normal development of movement in children. We make exercise programs fun and engaging at an age appropriate level so your child will want to do their exercises!

We believe no child should feel left out in the playground or at sports or have to struggle with schoolwork.

If you would like to see your child being able to more easily do all the activities that their friends do and find completing school work less exhausting then keep reading, these three exercises could start to help them achieve this.

Try these 3 simple exercises with your child.

Fantastic for strengthening the core muscles, gluts and legs. Get your child to lie on their back and bend their knees. Get them to lift their bottom off the ground, pushing their hips up, to try and make a bridge. Get them to hold this position for a couple of seconds then slowly lower themselves back down. You can make this exercise more fun by rolling a ball or toy car underneath them while they’re lifting up.

A great leg strengthening exercise to look after the knee joints. Get the child to stand with their feet hip width apart. Ask them to slowly bend their knees to 90 degrees and stick their bottom out as if they’re going to sit on a chair. Return to standing up tall. To make this more fun they could pick up simple puzzle pieces as they bend down and complete the puzzle as they stand up or if they have lots of energy push up into a jump.

Donkey kicks
This is a great full body strengthening exercise and great fun too, strengthening the legs, core and shoulder girdle and arms. Get the child to go down on all fours but keep their knees off the ground. Pushing through their legs and keeping their hands on the floor, they will kick their legs up behind them keeping their knees a bent like a bucking donkey or horse. If this is too difficult they can try walking or running around the room on all fours keeping their back flat but their knees off the floor.

If any of this relates to your child you’ll be glad to hear we’re able to help. Our specially developed children's Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programs are designed to work on strength, coordination and normal movement development. Our clinic based programs are not only highly effective but also lots of fun, your child won't even realise that they’re doing exercises!

You can make an appointment for your child to complete one of our clinic based programs by calling 8398 4681.