Muscle tone refers to the amount of tension present in a muscle. This is different than muscle strength, which refers to the amount of power a muscle can generate. Low muscle tone means that the muscles are slow to activate and initiate movement, and have decreased endurance for sustaining contractions. A child with low tone may appear weak, floppy, and have poor posture.
If your child has low tone, here are some activities you can try at home:
- Yoga poses – Practice a variety of yoga poses each day. Superman pose and plank are good for developing core and upper extremity strength.
- Animal walks – Encourage your child to use animal walks around the house. These include bear walking, crab walking, and wheelbarrow walking.
- Lying on the belly – Whenever your child is playing a game on the floor, encourage them to play while lying on their stomach. This will support the development of back and neck strength.
- Carrying heavy items – Have your child help out around the house by carrying items that are heavy (but not too heavy!) such as a bag of groceries, a basket of laundry, or a watering pot. If it is too challenging for them to carry these items, try having them push them around the house instead.
- Climbing and swinging – Any activity that requires the child to lift both feet off the ground at the same time will help develop their core strength. This can include climbing a knotted rope or hanging by their arms from a trapeze swing while kicking a ball.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!