How to strengthen toddler core muscles

how to strengthen toddler core muscles

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Kids muscles will grow rapidly with a good diet and an active lifestyle. In general, children who are allowed to behave like children will grow strong, naturally.

But, some children may find it difficult or have not had the chance to exercise or been exposed to a bad diet. This can happen and it’s completely fixable, just in the same way as our guide on how to strengthen leg muscles.

Here in this article, we’ll help you understand how to spot signs of weak core muscles and some activities to help make them stronger.

What are the core muscles?


The core muscles are a very important group of muscles around the trunk of the body – they protect the spine and help body moved weight around without injury. The core muscles are used with almost every activity there is which includes the basics such as sitting down and getting up from lying down.

Because they should be used a lot, core muscles are generally quite strong and don’t often need exercise to maintain and grow.

Signs of weak core muscles in toddlers

  • Leaning on furniture to hold their weight when standing
  • Slumped back when sitting down by a table
  • Getting tired quickly with walking
  • Difficulty picking themselves up from the floor
  • Reluctance to stand up
  • Reluctance to walk and run
  • Reluctance to engage in sports or playground activities
  • Struggling with walking/running at toddler age
  • Clumsiness
  • Poor posture

How to strengthen a toddler’s core muscles

The diet

Just like when it comes to adults and growing muscles, they are worked with exercise but grown in the kitchen. Toddlers should be eating as much healthy foods as they possibly can – the list of what they could eat is endless but if you want them to start getting stronger then a diet of chips and ice cream needs to go.

Rather than look for anything specific, focus on getting whole foods with lots of vitamins and minerals. Your staple foods basically – fruit, vegetables and protein from sources such as fish, nuts, vegetables and so on.


The second part of strengthening your toddler’s core muscles is obvious exercise. But where is the best place to start?

Doing something that engages them is better than doing nothing, but going in head first into an intense workload isn’t ideal.

Therefore, start gently. And make it fun.

We recommend a low impact activity which engages all muscles such as swimming. This exercise is fab because the water supports them and with the use of floaties they can leisurely use their muscles. If they are having fun they will push themselves without even noticing.

For something to indoors, a rocking horse is good example as the rocking motion is done via the core muscles. There are rocking horses in playgrounds as well if you venture out of the house. Additionally, the playground is the ultimate place to work the core muscles, especially the climbing frames and the swing.

Softplay and the trampoline park are exceptional at working their muscles but is a bit more expensive to do. The trampoline park in particular can be an intense workout that is so fun they may not even notice they are exercising. Trampolines work a lot of muscles to keep them balanced and bouncing, it can work wonders.

For casual trips to the park, take their bike. If they don’t have a pedal bike then a balance bike is just as good. Core muscles are used quite a bit to keep them balanced as well as projecting themselves forward with or without pedals.

This list could be endless, the point of them all is to just stay active and moving and watching their posture as they do it. If you’ve had a physically inactive child until now there’s plenty of time to change habits.

Children grow rapidly and are robust, they can easily adapt and go from having weak muscles to strong ones in month with a good diet and exercise.