Movement of the Month
All Four’s - Quadruped: Opposite Arm/Leg Reach
Another great exercise, and all you need is a mat. We love the Quadruped position for many reasons, its a great starting place for many exercises as well as a great back strengthening exercise. It allows us to continue working on our head, neck strength, vital for so many of us that spend time at the computer and allows us to start to feel comfortable on our hands and knees which is one of the stepping stones for crawling. Why would you want to crawl? Crawling is a wonderful way to strengthen many movement systems simultaneously and a movement we have done in our early years as children. It can be performed as a basic coordination exercise all the way to knees off the ground crawling which, if you ever tried it, is incredibly challenging! But before we get ahead of yourselves here are the guidelines for Quadruped/All fours.
With hands and knees on the floor, spread your hands wide and place them directly under your shoulders.
Check that your knees are under your hips and the spine is in neutral.
Remember to lift your head and chest to keep the head in line with the spine.
With an exhale drawing your abdominal toward your spine for stability reach and your left arm out in front of you. If you experience shoulder pain only reach your arm as far as comfortable.
With another exhale slide your right leg out behind you. If you feel steady take the leg off the floor and balance on your standing knee and hand. This position is often called Bird Dog.
Take a few breaths in this position paying attention to your neutral spine, breath and abdominals then lower and repeat on the other side.
When you start to feel steady try lifting the arm and leg simultaneously.
You can experience this movement with your toes flat or tucked under.
For variety, try this exercise with the arm and leg lifted to the side, sometimes called the Fire Hydrant.
To finish roll over your back for Happy Baby to stretch the back muscles