Brain Gym Part 4
This is the fourth part of the Brain Gym explanation. Last time I discussed Neck Rolls, the Rocker, and Belly Breathing, which are still Midline Movements. The last three exercises in this category are the Cross Crawl Sit-ups, the Energizer, and Think of an X.
The Cross Crawl Sit-ups help to strengthen the abdominals, relax the lower back, and help further help both hemispheres of the brain work together. This exercise is done on a padded surface while on the back. Knees and head are up, hands clasped behind the head. Touch one elbow to the opposite knee and alternate the movement. This appears similar to riding a bicycle. This exercise can help in reading, listening, math, and spelling and writing, as well as centering and grounding, left-right integration, and becoming aware of “core, postural muscles.”
The Energizer can be done sitting in a chair or on a mat. Sitting, the child should rest his head on the desk or table, placing hands on the table in front of the shoulders. Inhaling deeply, the breath should flow up the middle, lifting the forehead, neck, and upper back. Diaphragm and chest should stay open and shoulders relaxed. Then curl head toward chest, bringing forehead down to rest on the desk. This exercise helps create a relaxed nervous system, aids in binocular vision, listening comprehension, speech and language skills, and fine motor control of eye and hand muscles. It will also help improve posture, enhance concentration, and improve breathing.
The final Midline Movement, Think of an X, helps the whole brain learn to work cooperatively, allowing access to both sides of the brain. The child should be encouraged through all activities to “think of an X” and mentally create the “X” to exercise the brain. Pictures of “X’s” can be made easily visible, students can be encouraged to visually create the X by imagining it extending between opposite shoulders and hips, or by moving the eyes in an “X” pattern several times. This exercise aids in binocular vision, binaural hearing, coordination of the entire body, and centralized vision, as well as writing skills and organization for math or spelling.
Both the Brain Gym book and the Teacher’s Edition are available for purchase at the Life’s Garden stores in both office locations. The books have easy to follow illustrations and directions for getting your child started. I will discuss some of the other exercises in following newsletters, starting next time with the Lengthening Activities.Tags: brain gym, brain gym exercises for reading, cross crawl
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
Licensed Professional Counselor
Advanced Clinical HypnoTherapist
- Deb England began working part-time for Wholeness Healing Center in September 2004 and began full-time in May 2005. Deb practices primarily in the Broken Bow office and one day a week in the Grand Island office. Previously she had completed her practicum and internship at Morning Star Alliance, working in the Broken Bow and Grand Island offices.
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