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Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills involve the large muscles of the body that assist with sitting upright, walking, kicking, running, and jumping. Gross motor skills are dependent on muscle tone and muscle strength. Gross motor skills include:

  • Posture
  • Locomotion
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Body awareness

Gross motor skill delays can occur in children without an identified disability. As development occurs from proximal (middle of the body) to distal (extremities) it is imperative for children to develop adequate core strength and stability. Without adequate core strength and stability it is likely that children will have difficulty maintaining postures, performing age-appropriate gross motor and fine motor skills, and have difficulty with general balance and coordination. Deficits with gross motor skills can impact postural control and breath support needed for speech production.

Treatment

Gross motor skill delays can occur in children without an identified disability. As development occurs from proximal (middle of the body) to distal (extremities) it is imperative for children to develop adequate core strength and stability. Without adequate core strength and stability it is likely that children will have difficulty maintaining postures, performing age-appropriate gross motor and fine motor skills, and have difficulty with general balance and coordination.

Following are some general suggestions to enhance your child's core strength:
  • While lying on his/her back, have your child kick their legs up in the air
  • Wall kicks - have your child lie on their back with their head up against the wall, have them bring their legs up to the wall and touch it
  • Sit-ups with knees bent, have your child pull-to-sit
  • Planks
  • Push-ups - either on the knees or their toes
  • Sit on an unsupported surface without back support (bench, small ball, chair)
  • Play in tall kneel
  • Crawling - on all fours, reaching for objects, throwing objects
Community-based activities to enhance core strength:
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Karate
  • Cheerleading
  • Track/Cross Country
185 S. Marley Rd. New Lenox, IL 60451