Core strengthening exercises have definitely evolved from 20 years ago. Gone are the days where lying down leg raises and sit ups are the best core exercises.
Dr. Stuart McGill the world renowned Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo is one of the World’s experts on spine biomechanics. From his years of research and clinical experience working with 1000’s of everyday people, he has put together the “BIG 3.”
The top 3 exercises he proposes to obtain “superstiffness” in your core AKA a strong mid-section!
The beauty of these is:
- They are beneficial for everyone
- There are progressions to continuously challenge your core
Here we have 1 of the Big 3 – The Bird Dog
We have 4 progressions here for ya!
Progression #1: Only lower body. This will help you practice maintaining square hips/neutral spine/not shifting body weight
Progression #2: Lifting leg and opposite arm (low) while maintaining neutral spine/not shifting body weight
Progression #3: Lifting leg and opposite arm (full extension), stretching out and being as strong as possible in this unstable position
Progression # 4: To add more instability and increase core activation, add in lateral shift with the leg and arm (most difficult). If we want perfection, there are several other things to if look out for – i.e. keep that back leg straight, ensure no lumbar “dumping,” no shoulder shrugging, etc.
Check out our next video of the “curl-up” exercise which is another one of Dr. Stuart McGill’s BIG THREE Core exercises