When we started Brain Balance two and a half weeks ago, Anahí literally (and I mean literally) could not lift her head off the ground. She couldn't keep her body in a plank position even leaning against the wall to do a wall push-up. She isn't doing the kind of stuff Kimball is doing yet, and she doesn't quite have the guns, but she is working her heart out to get there. She is making great progress. At first, we used dark (63%) chocolate chips to coax her into even making an attempt at lifting her head off the ground. She had to learn how to even engage her neck muscles. When she got good at that, we would put a finger or a stick above her and tell her to lift and try to lick it.
After a few days we started grabbing her fingers on the pushups so that her body could get used to the motion of the sit-up. Then we started putting a couple of fingers behind her back and helping over the hardest part in the middle of the movement. Now she has figured out that if she extends her arms she can use her momentum and the weight of her hands to help her with the motion.
Today she did a full sit-up all by herself! I tried to get her to do another, but she was tuckered out. Hopefully I can get it tomorrow.
Here are some of her other exercises from last night:
Push-Ups: Like I said, she was incapable of even making her body into a plank. Now she does wall push-ups like a champion! We have her kiss the wall so she goes in with her upper body and not her hips :)
Lizard: When she started Brain Balance, she couldn't coordinate her arms and legs at all. We had to physically move them into the right position on every movement.
Finger Game: This is another she couldn't do at all. We started with one hand at a time -- VERY SLOWLY. It still takes a long time, but she can now coordinate her fingers on both hands at the same time.
Slow Eye Movement: It's tough for Anahí to separate the movement of her eyes from the movement of her head. We still have to hold her head a bit to remind her to only move her eyes, but she is coming along.
Cannonball: This one works her core and helps her get ready to do the pushups. Like I said before, two weeks ago, we could barely get her to move her head and engage her neck muscles.
Sit-Ups: You can't see it, but Betty is helping her just the tiniest bit with her hand on the small of Anahí's back. Not bad for someone who couldn't lift her head off the ground three weeks ago :)
Superman: This is one of the first core exercises that she picked up on. The trick is to keep her feet on the ground while she lifts her core. We count using colors because the colors stimulate the right side of the brain and numbers would stimulate her already strong left brain.
Cat: This is how she finished off her evening exercises. The trick is for her to follow me and not get lazy with her arms. I think she's got pretty good form.
That is eight of the 20 exercises that we do three times every day. The kids have invariably had a good attitude about doing it -- even the eye ones that are so tough for Anahí. She is a real trooper -- one of my heroes. I can't wait to see how she is doing three weeks from now.