Does Your Child Have Weak Hip Muscles?
For some reason or another, you may have been told your your child’s hip muscles are weak. Maybe you were given this information at a school assessment, or perhaps you have noticed your child having difficulty with running and jumping. Either way, it may be time to incorporate some hip strengthening activities and exercises into their daily routine. We’ve rounded up our top four favorite hip strengthening activities you can do at home with your child:
1) Modified Single Limb Standing
Did you know your hip muscles are one of the main muscle groups needed to stand on one foot? Well, they are! Therefore, a great way to strengthen your child’s hip muscles (while decreasing the balance demands) is modified single limb standing.
While your child is performing a standing activity such as painting at an easel, or playing at a table, put one foot up onto a small bench or step stool, placing them in a modified single limb standing position.
To progress this, place a toy on the floor, just in front of the foot they are standing on. Have your child squat down to pick up the toy and return to standing. This progression can be fun to do with bean bags, picking them up and throwing them into a laundry basket or bucket for points! Be sure when your child squats down that their knees do not turn in.
2) Frog Jumps
For little ones that perhaps static activities are not an option, frog jumps are a great exercise for strengthening the hips. This activity requires the child to push off of the ground, using their hips muscles for power, and then use their hip muscles to slowly control their landing. The key to making this exercise effective is the set up. Have your child assume a proper frog position; this includes hands between legs, heels flat on the ground, with head looking up, and bottom down.
To progress this, try jumping over small obstacles like a broom or a taped line on the ground. This will encourage more push off from ground, increasing hip muscle activation and strengthening. Practice this along a long hallway or in an obstacle course, this allows for several repetitions in a row for maximal strengthening.
3) Skipping Stairs
Think 1980s stair stepping video… then add an incline… oh yea, you can feel the burn already! Have your child ascend the stairs, skipping a step in between. The incline of the staircase in addition to the increased height from skipping a step can be the ultimate glutei strengthening exercise. This one is for adults too! So join in with your child and build strength as a family!
Grab the cape and get to strengthening your child’s hip muscles with Supermans! Have your child lay on their belly, with arms and legs extended straight. Next, have them lift arms and legs off the ground. See how long they can hold this position. After that, be sure your child is maintaining straight elbows and knees; if not, they may be compensating with other muscles. Encourage your child to lift their legs higher with each “fly”!
Try Them At Home
Above all, these activities are sure to strengthen your child’s hip muscles, and can easily be performed at home. If your child has difficulty with these activities or if you are still concerned about their hip strength, call CPTWC today to schedule a pediatric physical therapy consultation at 773-687-9241!