By Amy Goebbert, PT, DPT
Now that we have built a base of core stability in the supported, lying position, continue challenging your athletes in the suspended position with this next set of exercises. It is necessary to teach core muscles to work in these various positions so that they can work up in dynamic standing positions for sports. Often workouts issued by coaches skip the suspended and stacked positions and take you straight to upright. Now is a good time, while we have this break, to really strengthen the athlete’s core correctly so they are ready to jump right back into practice. The goal is to return to sport with a stronger base of support to promote safe, faster, quicker, more powerful movements on the court or field!
BIRD DOG, BIRD DOG CRUNCH
Start on your hands and knees with lower abdominal muscles tight (pull belly button up to take arch out of lower back). Reach opposite arm and leg straight out. Lift as high as you can without arching lower back. Hold for a few seconds, alternate sides. To increase difficulty, add in a crunch (elbow to knee).
BEAR HOLD, BEAR WALK
Start on your hands and knees with lower abdominal muscles tight (pull belly button up to take arch out of lower back). Lift knees 1 inch off ground and hold for as long as you can. To increase difficulty, try “walking” forward and backward a few steps in this position.
CRAB, CRAB WALK
Start on hands and feet, face up. Lift up hips and hold position for as long as you can. To increase difficulty, try “walking” forward and backward a few steps in this position.
PLANK HOLD, PLANK REACH
Start on elbows and toes. Pull belly button in to engage lower abdominals and lift hips off ground. Try to hold as long as you can without letting back arch down or hips lifting up. To increase difficulty try reaching opposite arm and leg without moving your trunk. Hold or a few seconds, then alternate sides. Both the “hold” and the “reach” can be performed with arms straight as well.
SIDE PLANK HOLD, SIDE PLANK REACH
Start on your side with weight on your forearm and feet stacked. Lift up hips and hold position for as long as you can. This can also be down with weight on your hand and a straight elbow. To increase difficulty, try reaching your arm up and lifting your top leg.
It is always better to have movement analyzed by a professional. We teach movement day in and day out and know the proper form and progression. If you have any concerns/questions, please reach out!