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3 Exercises Guaranteed to Strengthen Your Child’s Core Muscles

A sedentary lifestyle will lead to poor core strength in kids just as it will in adults. A strong core improves athletic performance, can help prevent some sports injuries and improves posture. A study published in a 2009 issue of European Journal of Social Psychology and cited in Psychology Today shows how posture also affects self-esteem, which is important as kids, particularly girls, approach adolescence.

Activities for Ages 2–11

Keep It Short & Make It Fun!

Kids do best with several shorter bouts of exercise, no more than 15 minutes in length. Exercises should be fun and not so challenging that they lead to failure. For fun, include routines that involve movement or even races. For a sense of accomplishment, include isometric poses that kids can hold for longer periods of time. Always demonstrate the exercises yourself so it’s easier for kids to understand what they are supposed to do.    

Dead Bug

Tell your child to pretend to be a dead bug. Show him how to lie on his back with his knees bent and feet flat on the floor. His hands will rest along his sides. Have him lift his bent right knee toward his chest while simultaneously arching the right arm over his head. Have him start slowly on one side, stop for a moment and then work the other side until he gets the hang of it. Then encourage him to keep it moving. Older children with better coordination can then try lifting the opposite knee and arm at the same time.    

Crabby Walking

The crab walk makes exercise a game. Have your child get into a crab position, face up, so that his torso forms a table — or as close to that as he can get — while keeping his feet under his knees and his hands under his shoulders. Individually, you can have him crab walk forward to a certain point and then backward to the starting point. Kids can also race each other. Encourage them to keep their butts up but don’t be too critical. To help achieve this position, place a beanbag or soft toy on the child’s tummy that he has to keep from falling off. Older kids can play crab soccer with a beanbag or soft ball.    


Not only is the classic plank an extremely effective core exercise, but it can also benefit kids who don’t tend to succeed at competition. By competing against their own time and working toward a goal they can meet, these kids will feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Plus, the core work may help them compete more successfully when playing sports. Have the child get into a plank position so he is resting on his forearms. Don’t set a timed goal to begin with. Just see how long he can hold the position without sagging. After that, ask him to work at it every day or every other day, setting a goal of 30 and then 60 seconds. When the child can do that, have him try a straight-armed plank and then a plank for which he lifts one leg at a time.  

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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