The bird dog exercises are a group of core exercises peformed in a quadruped position. The purpose of these movements are to strengthen the core muscles and promote the maintenance of a neutral pelvis while encorportating limb movements, along with exercise tracks such as the dead bug track. When used as part of a rehabilitation program for lumbar injury or other spine problems, this stabilization exercise progresses from a beginner to an advanced level, starting with moving only one arm, and then progressing to moving the opposite arm and leg. This is basically moving from 4-point kneeling, to 3-point kneeling, and then to 2-point.
Continue Reading » Bird Dog Exercise (4-point to 2-point Kneeling Spinal Stability Exercise)
The supine bridge is used to the glues and hamstrings for hip extension and the entire core musculature for stability. It is sometimes called a "glute bridge" to emphasize the role of glute activation. The body is raised from a hook-lying position to a bridged position primarily through the action of the gluteus maximus.
Although this is a basic exercise, many may have a hard time achieving the bridge position using only the glutes and hamstrings and instead rely on lumbar extension. Differentiating lumbar and hip extension is a basic requirement of this exercise and all strength training. Those who have trouble isolating hip extension may wish to start with the Cook Hip Lift.
Continue Reading » Supine Bridge Exercise for Glute Activation and Dynamic Warm Up
Bench press, bench press, bench press. I'm amazed at how many bench press warriors I come across. No, I'm not talking about the guys who just love to bench press and like to see those numbers go up, but they try to keep their training balanced. I'm talking about people who only train upper body and actually consider bench press (and curls) to be a good measure of "strength".
Continue Reading » Lifting and Carrying Stuff: It's Not Just About Your Legs and Arms
As most of you know, the world of core stabilization has yielded as much attention as Paris Hilton buying a new Chihuahua. The difference: core stabilization warrants most of the attention it gets. I say "most" because as with many catchy terms in the fitness industry, it can be abused with the content that goes into defining these terms. However, for the sake of this article I am going to review what I feel to be the more logical techniques that are involved in stabilizing that snake-like structure we call the spine.
Continue Reading » Analyzing Core Stabilization Techniques - Bridging the Gap
Front Planks are a core exercise - which means they target your core muscles: the abdominal muscles and the lower back with the structural supporting muscles kicking in as well. This works the stabilization function of the abdominals and back and a co-contraction of these muscle groups is necessary to maintain the plank position. Front squats, in this way, are also an example of two sides of the body functioning in tandem rather than as agonist/antagonist.
Continue Reading » Front Planks
After my article Stick Your Neck Out was published I surprisingly caught some flack from the “hardcore” types just because I showed a stability ball being used in a few of the exercise applications.
Since I’m not emotionally attached to any one piece of equipment or style of training, I was not upset in the least about this. However, it did make me realize how misunderstood the Swiss ball is within the “hardcore strength” community. So, in light of this realization, I’m stepping up to set the record straight once and for all about Swiss balls and how they should and shouldn’t be utilized in and effective strength program.
Continue Reading » Stability Ball Exercise Progressions for Building Muscle and Core Strength
The dead bug track1 was conceived to to incorporate movement of the extremities while keeping the transverse abdominus and the muscles of the pelvic floor contracted. The arms and then legs become long levers that provide and extra challenge to maintaining a neutral pelvis to improve lumbopelvic control.
Continue Reading » Dead Bug Track (Using Posterior Pelvic Tilt)
The suitcase deadlift is exactly what the name suggests. Lifting a weight similar to how one lifts and holds a suitcase. So, instead of the implement being in front of the body it is to the side.
This is a great core stability exercise. Its provides rotational torque so it is an excellent anti-rotation exercise. You have to resist the rotation from the off-balanced load and keep the torso "level" or "symmetrical".
Continue Reading » Suitcase Deadlifts