Discover the benefits of walking backward.
If you got excited when your toddler started walking, wait until he goes backward! Walking backwards may seem like a simple and silly movement, but mastering this action by your little one is truly impressive and offers many developmental benefits.
Here are some reasons why practicing backwards with your child is so valuable.
The most important reason to learn to walk backwards is safety in the first place. When your toddler falls forward, he can use his hands to break the fall and push himself back.
Practicing walking backwards allows you to increase your ability to use your legs to prevent a backward fall.
You will slowly learn to counteract a backward fall by taking a few steps back to regain your balance. Protecting your head and spine from these falls is the main reason for this achievement of the movement.
If you’ve ever tried walking backwards as a fitness exercise, you may have noticed that it engages other leg muscles than walking forwards.
Walking backwards engages the calf muscles, glutes, and quadriceps, which are very helpful muscles for toddlers on the go! Strengthening these leg muscles can help you achieve other movement milestones like climbing, kicking, and even dancing.
Any type of exercise that improves a child’s balance and coordination is good, and walking backwards does it! Balance and coordination are the foundation of many physical activities, such as learning to ride a bike or playing catch.
Walking backwards is not only great for your little one’s core muscles and postural control, but it’s also a great workout for their cerebellum, as learning to balance while walking backwards facilitates the growth and development of neurons in the brain.
Also Read: Benefits of walking barefoot
Walking backwards also helps increase your spatial awareness, which is a cognitive skill that tells us our position relative to objects around us.
Exercising your backtracking skills allows you to understand how your body and body parts move around a room without bumping into things.
Your child’s proprioceptive sense is his ability to internally determine where his body parts are and how much effort it takes to move them.
This internal sense helps guide your backward movements without the need to look back and prevents you from falling.
Between 16 and 18 months, you will most likely see your toddler master lateral movements and eventually take a few steps backwards. For a time, he may seem like a clumsy little sailor doing the cha-cha-cha.
But as his muscles develop and his balance strengthens, he will feel more and more confident backing up.
Around 28-30 months, you will notice that his steps become steady and steady, allowing him to move backwards halfway across a room (approximately 10 steps). A great feat for little feet!
Remember that little ones reach these milestones of movement at different times and in different ways.