In keeping with the theme of yesterday’s post, I’m once again bringing you a quick fix on an exercise that is commonly performed incorrectly. The only difference today is that I don’t hate this exercise, I actually think it’s awesome. I’m more just confused as to why people are still slapping on ankle weights and going to town with a super arched back and calling it a butt exercise.
Check this out to see what I’m talking about…..
We call this the Bird Dog or Quadraped and it’s actually a pretty cool exercise until all hell breaks loose! In the first part of the video you see me raising one leg and letting the back do most of the work. Unfortunately, everytime I see this exercise posted online, it almost always looks like this.
What’s wrong you say?
At the heart of this exercise is the need for stabilization. This exercise actually has very little to do with isolating out the glute, although that is an added bonus when done the right way. The goal is to maintain shoulder and core stability. When the leg raises up and the back arches, you are losing all of those goals! You are also engaging mostly the back and that is bad news for us golfers. Although the muscles in your back are important to stabilization, when you start emphasizing back extension, you lose your access to the power of the glutes! The hip only has 5 degrees of extension, so basically once the leg goes above a parallel line to the ground, your glute is no longer doing the work.
How to clean it up……
The second part of the video you see me placing a golf club across my lower back once I find a solid neutral spine position. This is by far the best way to get feedback on whether you are doing this exercise correctly. As you extend your leg behind you, the goal is to keep the club as still as possible and minimize shifting side to side. When this happens, you are firing up all the major stabilizers in your body, and that equals a whole lot of awesome!
Give this one a try and let me know what you think. It’s much tougher than it looks!
Goodnight friends, S