“My son’s core is so floppy, he really can’t push open the doors when we go to the library. There is no force through his arms. Now that he is older, this is stopping him from doing quite a few things”.
Pushing is an essential skill. To go shopping, a cart must be pushed from aisle to aisle. A dresser drawer can’t stay open; it must be pushed back into position. We push all day long without much thought about our action, whether it is tidying up the kitchen drawers, pushing a vacuum, going through a revolving door, or moving furniture back into its place.
Pushing exercises are often isometric, give proprioception throughout the body, require a staggered stance, and stretch the heel cords. Pushing with your hands above shoulder level, creates thoracic extension, as well as activation of the lower traps and serratus anterior muscles. This, of course, depends on how you are going to push, the weight of what you are pushing, as well as whether you are standing still or pushing something along as you move.
In the therapy gym, kids often like to make crashing sounds. Large wedge-shaped skill shapes or padded bolsters make the floor shake when pushed. EARTHQUAKE! I also like to set up a few minutes of play with the largest physioball I can find. Pushed around the room, it is so big that it may get stuck in several places and require extra effort! This is much more fun than opening heavy doors or pushing a vacuum, and it will build the strength to open that library door with ease.
Thank you guest artist, Jim Baptista. ♥