Wheelbarrow Walk

Guest Authored By Irma G, PT, DPT

Blue Bird Day and wheelbarrow walk

Many of our children present with low tone or neuromotor dysfunction causing weakness in their core and scapular stabilizersWheelbarrow walking is a fun and helpful activity to target these deficits.  

Wheelbarrow Walk 

Benefits:  

  • Core Strengthening  
  • Scapular stabilization  
  • Hand intrinsic musculature strengthening  
  • Proprioception 
  • Heavy work from weight-bearing on hands  

Items Needed:  

  • Motivating toys to walk toward 

How to:  

  • Have child positioned on hands and knees 
  • Grab the child’s legs and lift them so their hands are pushing down on the floor  
  • Use your hands to support your child’s legs while child walks on their hands toward their favorite toy. Be sure to cue the child to lift their head to look at the toy they are walking to.  
  • At first, the child will fatigue quickly. Limit to short distances.  

**Based on your child’s level of strength, more support may be needed. Hold the child from their pelvis to give more support. As they get stronger, support can be placed at knees and ankles.  

Support at pelvis     

Blue Bird Day and wheelbarrow walk

Support at knees  

Blue Bird Day and wheelbarrow walk

Support at feet  

Blue Bird Day and wheelbarrow walk

How do I know my child needs more support? 

  • A downward bend in the back is often present when the back is not strong enough to maintain a flat spine. 

How do I continue to challenge my child? 

  • Decrease the level of support further down the legs  
  • The child can progress through various surface levels
  • Firm surface 
  • Soft surface 
  • Walking up/down a ramp  
  • Walking up/down steps or elevated surfaces 
  • Increase distance