Some children develop tightness in the muscles that join the scapula to the shoulder blade. This tightness makes it difficult to move the hand forwards with the elbow close to the body. This movement is needed for working with the hands in front of the body (cutting with scissors) and for for drawing and writing.
In this exercise you reach up as high as you can with one arm and hold the stretched position for 10 slow counts. This provides a good stretch for the shoulder muscles and makes it easier to reach forwards with the arm for hand tasks, drawing and handwriting.
Children are often expected to sit cross legged on the floor for an extended period of time, such as during morning ring or story time. The majority of children can do this with relative ease.
However children with joint hypermobility and low tone often find sitting with their legs crossed uncomfortable because of tightness in the muscles that cross from the lower back over the sides of the hips and down to the side of the knees.
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This is a very effective stretch of the lower back and trunk suitable for older children and parents. It is particularly good for moms and dads with some lower back pain and those with tight hamstrings.
This exercise should not cause any pain - so if you do have low back pain, go very gently and stop if you experience pain doing the exercise.