Tips to Help with Bike Riding

As summer ends and fall approaches, there is nice weather for bike riding. For any age, there are certain skills needed to help with bike riding. These skills include strength in legs, core and upper arms, balance and coordination. If your little one is still having difficulty with bike riding, try these activities and see if they carry over during riding a bicycle.

  1. Animal walks are great for upper and lower body strengthening, core strengthening, balance and coordination. These include crab walks, bear walks, duck walks, monster/dinosaur stomps, and lizard crawls. These can be found on Google or Pinterest.
  2. Wall push-ups are great for upper body strengthening. Squats, lunges and alternating going up and down stairs help with lower body strengthening, balance and coordination.
  3. Single leg balance is needed to help climb on and off bicycle. This can be worked on while going up and down stairs while alternating steps, with or without hand-held assistance or using a handrail depending on age (usually around 3-5 years old they can do with less support). Single leg balance can also be done while putting/taking off short/pants and socks while standing and climbing in and out of a bathtub or laundry basket.
  4. Obstacle courses are great for total body strengthening, balance and coordination too!! These are fun to do inside when it's raining or outside, and these activities are great for kids to help to set up. You can use household items to set up an obstacle course, including step stools, paper towel rolls, pool noodles, hula hoops, pillows, and chairs and blankets for fort-building so kids can walk, jump, crawl (under fort) and climb! Clean-up can be made into a game as well!!

Bike riding is a big whole-body skill and takes a lot of strength, balance and coordination, so try to be patient if your little one isn't quite getting it right off the bat (which will make them more comfortable and confident)! Try these tips and if you need any extra help, contact your local pediatric physical therapist!

Whitney Castle, PT, DPT