Primitive Reflex Exercises

To integrate these reflexes, there are specific exercises to do. Here is a list of the exercises:

  • ATNR- The Robot
  • STNR-The Stretching Cat
  • TLR- Superman/Meatball
  • Moro- Bridges
  • Gallant- Snow Angels
  • All of the exercises should be performed slowly and should be performed consistently in order to reach the goal of integrating these primitive reflexes.

Please refer to 'Related Links' below for video tutorials of reflex exercises


Related Links

»The Moro Reflex

The Moro reflex is an involuntary response to threat. If it is retained, some long term effects may be motion sickness, poor balance, poor coordination, visual perceptual problems, or difficulty shutting out background noise. The Moro reflex integration exercise is called the bridge. The child will lay on their back, with their knees up, feet on the floor and palms together right at their chest. They will lift their bottom up as high as possible while pushing their hands together as hard as they can and pointing the fingertips towards the ceiling. Hold this position for 10 seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Stay in resting for 10 seconds. Repeat this 5 consecutive times

»Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR):The Robot

Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR). Some functional problems when this reflex is not integrated could be delays in motor milestones, delayed eye hand skills, difficulty crossing mid line with eyes and hands, and visual perceptual difficulties. The integration exercise is called "The Robot". The child will lay on his stomach with his head facing to the right, First he will bring his right leg up until it is bent and then bring his right arm up until it is also bent. Then the child will turn his head to the left, straighten out the right arm, then the right leg. Pause for 5-10 seconds then he will move his left leg up until it is bent and his left arm up until it is also bent. He is going to turn his head to the other side and slowly straighten out his arm, straighten out his leg and pause for 5-10 seconds. This is one cycle. Complete three cycles of this per day.

»ATNR: The Robot-A Second Look

A second angle of 'The Robot"

»Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex: "The Meatball"

Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR). Some functional problems of a residual TLR could be slouched posture, low muscle tone, balance problems, car sickness, dislike or avoidance of physical activities, or visual perceptual difficulties. The first exercise (there are 2) to integrate this reflex is called the Meatball. First the child is going put his arms across his chest and lift up his back and his legs to get into a ball like position. Hold this position for 15 seconds and repeat twice.

»Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR): "Superman"

The second exercise to help integrate the Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR) is called superman. The child will lay on his stomach, put his arms above his head and lift up his arms and his legs so that his knees are off the mat and fly like superman for 15 seconds. Again, 2 sets of 15 seconds for this integration exercise.

»Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR): "The Stretching Cat"

Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR). If retained, some functional difficulties could be poor eye hand coordination, difficulty with copying tasks, or poor balance. The integration exercise is called the stretching cat. The child will start on his hands and knees. He will slowly sit back on his heels, his arms out straight with his forehead touching or close to the floor. Keeping his arms straight, he will move forward back into the starting position while inhaling. After a pause, he will move back into the stretching cat position, making sure to keep his arms straight. Then he will come back up to his hands and knees, pause and then go back into the stretching cat. Repeat this cycle 10-20 times per day

»Spinal Galant: "Angels in the Snow"

Spinal Galant. Some symptoms of a retained spinal galant could be fidgeting, bed wetting, poor concentration, or poor short term memory. The integration exercise is called Angels in the Snow. The child will begin lying on their back with feet together and arms at their sides. The key to this exercise is to go very slow. The child is going to slowly move his legs and arms out at the same time. it should take him 30 seconds to be at the peak of the snow angel position. His hands should touch together above his head about the same time that his legs reach the widest position. Now, slowly, taking 30 seconds, he is going to go back down into starting position, moving his arms and his legs at the same time. Out and in is one cycle and should take a total of 1 minute. It is recommended to complete 3 cycles once a day.