The quadruped arm leg reach is an awesome challenge for balance, coordination and strength. When done with precision and control, it can challenge the core, build total body strength, and improve posture.

Take your time with this exercise. At every point of change, there’s a different set of muscles starting to work. If you rush it, you’ll miss out on connecting to the real sense of integrated strength.

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There are two things to be mindful of to get the most benefits from this exercise

1. Low back sinking

  • As an arm and the opposite leg reach away from each other, make sure the low back stays quiet
  • Only lift the leg to torso height
  • If the leg is lifted too high, the low back will arch. This will mean the low back muscles are working instead of the buttocks to lift your leg

2. Unsupported shoulder area

  • If the shoulder blade lifts towards the ear when the arm lifts, tension may build up in the neck and shoulder area.
  • Only lift the arm to torso height, not higher
  • Turn the palm inward and stay wide across the shoulders

How to build up to the full exercise

If lifting both limbs off the ground is too unstable, don’t do it! Here are a few ways you can build up to the full exercise.

  • First, start by sliding one limb away from you at a time. For example, just slide one arm out and bring it in. Then slide a leg out and bring it in. Then the other leg and then the other arm.
  • Next, slide two limbs away. Make sure you’re using opposite limbs. For example, right arm/left leg. Do not lift it off the ground yet
  • Now lift one limb at a time.
  • Last but not least, slide two limbs away and lift either the arm or the leg. Make sure you try all possible combinations and do them well before moving on to the full exercise.