What is Crossing Midline?
- If you draw a line straight down the middle of your body from your head to your toes that is your midline
- Midline divides our body into LEFT and RIGHT halves
- Crossing midline is the ability to reach across the midline of your body such as using your RIGHT arm to reach across to grab something on your LEFT side
WHY IS CROSSING MIDLINE SO IMPORTANT?
- Your brain has two halves that control your body’s movements
- The RIGHT side of the brain controls the LEFT side of the body movements and vice versa (when you move your left arm, the right side of your brain is controlling that movement)
- The ability to cross midline gives us the ability to perform everyday functional motor tasks such as buckling a seat belt or reaching across the dinner table to grab the saltshaker.
- Neurons between the Left and Right sides of our brain start firing any time we reach our hand across our body such as when we put deodorant on. Each time one side of the body crosses over to the other, the bridge that connects the hemispheres of our brains is being strengthened and reinforced.
EXERCISES FOR CROSSING MIDLINE
- Stand upright
- Lift LEFT knee up in a marching motion and place RIGHT hand on LEFT knee
- Repeat with opposite arm and knee and continue in a rhythmic movement
- Stand upright with feet spread apart
- Straighten both arms out to the side
- Reach down with RIGHT arm and touch LEFT foot
- Repeat with opposite arm and foot and continue in a rhythmic movement
- Tracing the infinity sign
- Opposite knee to elbow
- This exercise is similar to Crosswalks except you touch your elbow to your opposite knee while standing upright.
- Reaching across body with trunk rotation to grab pieces of puzzle, blocks, etc. to put together on opposite side
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s ability to cross midline, give us a call at 318-396-1969 and we’ll be happy to help!
Copyright © 2020 Melanie Massey Physical Therapy