Get your Core Stabilization On

Let's talk briefly about fitness classes everyone! I have been getting back into my group fitness routine (taking not teaching) and it has been quite interesting. I really love taking fitness classes (almost as much as I like teaching them!) But something that it has really brought up for me is technique and form.

As a fitness instructor and Physical Therapist, I am a stickler for form! Not everyone is and some that is okay and sometimes that's not. Some fitness classes are just not great and some fitness trainers are just not great.  And even if you are a great fitness instructor who really pays attention to form, that does not mean that your clients are even going to listen to you. All of this can lead to bad form & injury... which is then you usually land in my clinic (or worse).

There is definitely a longer post behind this but I wanted to touch on it briefly to tell you what my plans are for you and this space.

I want to not only inspire you to move more but I want you to move with care for you body.  I want to help you perform better workouts but showing you what good form is and WHY it is good.  That way you not only avoid getting hurt but you actually get more bang for you buck. and who doesn't want that?

So first up for Today is.....

Bird Dogs 

Otherwise known as.. Quadruped Alternate Arm & Leg Lifts


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How To:

1. Start on your hands and knees with your shoulders right over your wrists and your hips right over your knees.

2. Spread all ten fingers and press the ground away while pinching your shoulders down and back(Away from your ears)

3. Pull your belly button in and up, slightly flattening out your spine-- hold this the entire time.

4. Lift your opposite arm and opposite leg (slow and controlled) and return to start, Repeat on opposite sides


What NOT to do:

- do NOT let your belly drop down and arch your low back

- do not let your hips drop down on either side: hips stay even in a straight line.

- do not let your shoulders shrug up to your ears



- Engage your glute (bum muscle) to lift your leg straight back

- Think about pulling your belly button in and up the whole time you are performing this exercise

- Balance a cane or broomstick or foam roller on your low back-- if it falls over, you are not staying stable enough!

- Watch your form in the mirror or video tape yourself to see.


Why is it so great?

- CORE STABILIZATION: yeah you feel the burn when you do sit ups... yes I occasionally do them in classes but are they functional? NO.  Most of the time when we are using our core in our daily lives we are not performing spine flexion (crunch action). Most of the time our core is stabilizing us to stay steady throughout activities. these move challenge your core but throwing it off balance.  The easier it is to lift your arm & legs and not topple over or drop or back or lose the foam roller, the more stability you have.  This can be really important when you have low back pain.

- A little extra booty work: When you focus on squeezing your glute to extend your leg, you get a little bit of glute action going on... who doesn't like booty work?

- Scapular Stabilization: Keeping shoulders back and down creates strength in the endurance muscles of the shoulder.

No more pictures please? Or ahh my form looked like shit on that one?!

No more pictures please? Or ahh my form looked like shit on that one?!

Want to learn more about form or have a specific question? Leave a comment and I will break it down for you. Either way, stay tuned for me! Each week we will look at a different pose.


Kerry McGinnComment