In last month’s newsletter we promised 6 exercises that can help you maintain a healthy and strong core. People think most “core work” occurs on the floor. We like to mix it up (horizontal and vertical) since when you are lying down on the floor you are not fully engaging the muscles of the hips, abdominals and low-back which can lead to muscular imbalances. So, this month we are showing you the standing bird dog. You will use the abs, glutes and basically – your entire body.
Remember if you don’t understand the description or have questions about the exercise – PLEASE ask us before attempting it. We are here to help you.
- Starting position: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Engage your abdominal / core muscles (“bracing”) to stiffen your torso and stabilize your spine. Pull your shoulder blades down and back toward your hips. Your arms are hanging comfortably along your side.
- With the right foot planted on the ground, lift the left knee to hip height. Bend the elbows to ninety degrees.
- Continue to brace the abdominals to keep the torso rigid and the spine straight. Lean forward on the right hip as you extend the left leg behind you. At the same time, reach the right arm forward and the left elbow back. Keep the right foot firmly planted into the ground to maintain balance and stability. To help maintain balance, find a spot on the floor and fix your gaze on that spot. This will create additional stability.
- When you have reached what you feel is your end range-of-motion while balanced on your right leg, fully straighten the right elbow, keeping the arm at shoulder height. At the same time straighten the left leg straight back to create full hip extension. Point the toes of the left foot toward the wall behind you in order to move into full extension of the left hip. Maintain abdominal bracing to ensure balance and stability. Try to keep the hips level. Do not let the left hip drop towards the floor or lift upward. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds.
- Keep the abdominals engaged as you return to an upright, standing position. Repeat this movement for a specified number of repetitions or time frame.
- Change sides and repeat for the same number of repetitions or period of time.
- Exercise Variation: To increase the level of difficulty, extend both arms out front.