The shoulder girdle is very important in the functioning of the arms and the hands. In order to use your hands efficiently, you need to have strong, stable shoulders for your arms to work off of. Kids need to be able to easily reach up against gravity and to reach out for objects. It is hard to control what your hand is doing when you can’t control your shoulder very well, so I am going to share some of my favorite simple and easy to do activities that work on shoulder strength. The key is to work against gravity and to have your arms up away from your body.
How can you recognize weakness in the shoulder girdle? Some signs to look for are a student lifting the shoulders up toward their ears in a shrugging motion when doing an activity. Also when a student keeps their elbows tucked in to the body. These are both ways that the body tries to stabilize and compensate for weakness.
To work on strengthening, you have to get those elbows away from the body and work those arms against gravity. There are lots of great activities to use to work against gravity, and most of them are lots of fun. The object to most of the shoulder strengthening activities is to get the arms away from the body and reaching against gravity. Many of the activities also use a pushing and pulling component as well in order to work those muscles.