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Hanging on a Trapeze Swing

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The trapeze swing is basically bar with two chains or ropes going up on each side to a center point to form a triangle, then a single rope going up to the swing mount. The benefit of this configuration is that the trapeze can swing around in a circle or go in any direction that you want. You could do it from a double rope mount, and it would just limit the directions that you could swing.

If you don’t have a swing mount, many of the benefits of the trapeze swing (affiliate link) can be achieved using the bars at a playground. You can also make your own trapeze swing with some pvc pipe and a sturdy rope. Climbing and swinging on tree branches give a great workout to both hands.

The primary objective of course is to hang from both hands. This achieves strengthening of the hands, arms, shoulders, and trunk. If you kick at things while hanging and swinging, you can get some lower body work in too.

This activity is great for kids who have hemiplegia, as it gets both hands working together to maintain the hold on the bar. You can help the student by holding their hands on to the bar while swinging them. Over time, the need for help will lessen as strength increases.

I often use bowling pins or cardboard bricks lined up to swing and kick over. This activity really stretches out the arms and strengthens at the same time.

Materials:

  • trapeze swing (or playground bars)
  • swing mount
  • something to kick over

Skills:

  • Upper extremity strength
  • hand strength
  • trunk strength
  • shoulder stability
  • motor planning

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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