GYM: Stabilizer workout
Combine the following three exercises in a series:
Do 12 per side of the Side Plank with a Dip. Do 10 per side of the Side Plank Lateral Raise.
Do 8 per side of the Side Plank Tuck to “T.”
Do 8 per side of the Step, Lunge, Press With Drop Back.
Then repeat the entire series. This series addresses both lateral and rotational stability, flexibility, upper body, lower body and core.
Side Plank with a Dip
Start in a neutral spine, side plank position. This should look as though someone took you from a standing position and laid you on your side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Your head should be in a line with your spine, your hips should be forward and extended and your feet should be stacked.
From this position, lower your hip toward the floor slowly and in control. Return to the starting position.
During the movement phase neither leg should bend, there should be no twist in your spine, and your hips and shoulders should be aligned and perpendicular to the floor.
Increase the difficulty by performing this exercise with an extended arm.
If you find it too challenging to perform this exercise with straight legs, bending your lower leg at the knee while keeping your thighs in alignment decreases the difficulty.
Side Plank Lateral Raise
Start in a side plank position with a neutral spine. Your shoulders and hips should be perpendicular to the floor.
From this position raise your top leg while maintaining the plank position and without dropping your hips toward the floor, and then return your top leg to the starting position.
This exercise is great for lateral stability and challenges both lateral and rotational stability of the core, both important in balance activities.
If you find the straight leg too challenging and are unable to perform the exercise, then decrease the difficulty by bending your lower leg at the knee while keeping the thighs in alignment.
Side Plank Tuck to “T”
Start in the side plank position with a dumbbell in your top hand, extended overhead. You should be looking at the dumbbell.
As you bring the dumbbell down and tuck it under the side of your body, look over your support arm shoulder. Your hips should remain perpendicular to the floor. Any rotation should take place in the thoracic (upper) spine.
It is best to start light to be sure your shoulders are stable.
Step, Lunge, Press With Drop Back
Stand facing a step or a box with a dumbbell in each hand. The dumbbells should be lighter than what you normally use for overhead exercises, and it is better to start lighter than heavier.
As you step forward to place your foot on the step, simultaneously curl the dumbbells. As you drop down into the lunge, press the dumbbells overhead finishing with your palms facing forward.
Focus on maintaining an engagement in your abdominal muscles while breathing. You want to support with your external core muscles as much as possible and not with your diaphragm.
This is all done as a continuous motion although the directions appear to be two separate motions. You should maintain a neutral spine throughout the entire exercise.
Finish by stepping back toward the starting position and performing a backward lunge while bringing the dumbbells back and engaging into the triceps.