Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Strengthening Activities for Toe-Walkers

There is a variety of reasons that a young child may excessively toe-walk. Reasons could include muscle weakness, neurological damage, orthopedic abnormalities, abnormal muscle tone, poor sensory processing, being over-whelmed, habit, and the list goes on. The following are a few activities to help strengthen the opposite set of muscles (anterior tibialis, peroneals), because often a toe-walker has over developed calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus).
  • squatting- playing in squatting helps thigh muscles (quadriceps) and the front of the ankles. Try "playing" in that position for a while, and you'll soon feel "the burn".
  • Heel walking- walk with the toes off the ground and the heels "dug in"
  • Bear walk (AKA in yoga "downward dog"- crawl position with the legs straight and bottom in the air. Try to get the heels down as flat as possible. This can be done on a flat surface such as the carpet or on uneven terrain such as in the sandbox or on grass. It can also be done while crawling up a staircase
  • Frog jump: squat slightly then jump forward
  • Popcorn jump: squat low to the ground the quickly jump straight up
  • One-foot balance activities such as while dancing or climbing or pretending to be a flamingo
  • Play "Ring Around the Rosie" and switch it up to jumping, heel walking, running, slow walk
  • Foot wrestling: have two kids lay on the floor with knees bent and feet facing toward each other, and then they can push against each other with their feet.

No comments:

Post a Comment