The most popular physical therapy exercises
I perform squats with all my pediatric physiotherapy patients. It’s a great exercise to develop lower leg strength and improve coordination. It should be a staple in all physical therapy clinics and among the first choices of physical therapy exercises for children.
Squatting is a basic movement. This is how we sit and stand on the floor. A squat isn’t complete with a heavy barbell on the back alone. Squats can be effective without weight. It doesn’t have to be organized as an “exercise” either. For younger patients, exercise can be turned into game.
Example of a game:
- A competition to see who can hold the aerial squat (imagine you are sitting in an invisible chair) for the longest time
Another basic movement, the corpse cannot be avoided. It is the act of picking up something off the ground. As with squatting, you don’t need to develop all kids into power lifters. This does not mean that they will not benefit from learning how to effectively lift heavy objects off the ground.
The deadlift is safe and effective for lifting heavy objects. Even if the child has a backward approximation, they get the benefit and are not at increased risk of injury.
The deadlift and squat are among the best physical therapy exercises for kids.
- Bending over to pick things up off the ground
- Challenge the child with bigger, heavier, and more difficult objects. Put things in a container on a table.
When I say running, I don’t mean the interval training setup or the long run. Running, however, is a movement that most children do. Running occurs in most sporting events and is common among childhood games, such as tag games.
When running is prescribed as a physical therapy exercise for children, it is generally a continuous progression after an injury. Like adults, children are often eager to start running. I find myself having to put pediatric patients back more than I should encourage them to move.
Running is great for cardiovascular health, metabolic health, and building bone mineral density. I want these benefits, but I don’t want my patients to recreate themselves if they are not ready to start running. Running can take many forms in the clinic and is another essential physical therapy exercise for children.
Example of a running game:
- Races and relays
Although not as popular as running – unless you’re a front-line volleyball player – jumping is a regular sports activity. The dance move that my three-year-old does is jump. Bounce houses are a regular occurrence at the parties.
Example of a jumping game:
Determine the height that the child can draw on the wall. Put masking tape on a piece of paper, grab a marker, and measure the height you can mark by jumping.
5. Resistance training
Lifting weights will not stunt a child’s development. The myth has spread widely and lacks credibility. One review article collected the results of 16 studies — including 1,008 children aged 7-12 years old — and found that weight training had no effect on a child’s height. Studies show decreased fat mass, improved cardiovascular and metabolic health, and increased bone mineral density.
This does not mean that children need to start body-building routines. However, it does mean that resistance training can be used to practice safe and effective physical therapy for children. Basic movements such as squatting, death lift, push-up, and rowing are physical therapy exercises for children that help child develop strength, endurance, and strength. They should be part of any physical therapy care plan.
Example of a resistance training game:
- tug of war
Helping your child get back to his sport
Structured exercise is beneficial for children and adolescents, regardless of whether they participate in athletics or not. However, it is common for children to participate in structured exercise if they are participating in an organized sport.
Participating in sports is a great way for children to develop physically, cognitively, and socially. No sport is best for development. Children should be encouraged to sample many different sports to develop new movement patterns and to enhance future learning. Of course, exercise often eventually leads to injury.
Physical therapy is commonly used to help children and teens recover from injury and return to the field. For most sports, the five exercises I mentioned earlier will be a staple of any rehabilitation program (if the sport is golf, running, and jumping is omitted).