Saturday, March 29, 2014
These are the exercises that my girls do as part of their physical therapy. For Jie Jie, the focus is stretching, strength and movement of atrophied muscles and muscles that are restricting bone growth. She also works on balancing on one foot, and exercises that work on her walking stride.
Sissy works on fitness and core strength. Her balance is normal now, but her core is still weak. She's quite physically fit in many ways, but does lean toward muscle tightness so stretching is very important for her. Some of her muscles were starting to atrophy when I got her. For example, she couldn't rise up on her toes when she first came home - at all.
Blossom has a very weak core and fallen arches in her feet. All the girls work to help their feet for various reasons. She's quite naturally flexible. She needs to work on her balance and crossing her midline. We will be adding a balance beam to our exercise room as soon as I have time to make one and we'll soon have a bar to add ballet-type exercises to our routine. Remember, we also have rebounders and outdoor trampolines and I'm getting Blossom on them more to help with her core.
The two older girls do their sit-ups like Bethany Hamilton in the movie Soul Surfer, sit-up-stand-up-sit-down-sit-up-stand-up. If you look closely at the pictures, you'll see that Jie Jie's back is more flexible to one side than the other and that Blossom keeps her shoulders up by her ears instead of using her triceps to do her push ups. The pictures are easy to stage and get "right" looking, and the girls have come such a long way that in many ways they are as fit or maybe even more, than their American counterparts. But American children are notoriously unfit and plain unhealthy and that's not what I want for my kids, so we all get plenty of exercise, even me!