Discover Simple Arm and Leg Moves to Boost Your Core Power

Do you ever find it challenging to maintain your balance or find yourself easily fatigued after carrying heavy objects? If so, building your core stability and strength is crucial in order to have a solid foundation for other exercises and daily activities. A strong core, which consists of abdominal, hip, and lower back muscles, assists with posture, balance, and lifting objects. There are two specific arm and leg extension exercises derived from the classic “bird dog” yoga posture that can help you improve your core strength, prevent lower back injuries, and enhance your overall fitness routine.

Arm and Leg Extension — From Kneeling

To start the first exercise, gently lower yourself into a kneeling position, and then walk your hands forward until you reach a “table top” position. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and directly underneath your shoulders. While on all fours, pull your navel up towards your spine to stabilize your body as you prepare to extend.

Next, reach your right arm forward while simultaneously extending your left leg back, creating a straight line from your fingertips to your ankle. Maintain this extension for a count of three seconds, then return to the table top position for another count of three seconds. Repeat this five times before switching to the other side. Remember to keep a steady, smooth pace, and avoid any jerky movements. As your conditioning improves, feel free to increase the number of reps.

Arm and Leg Extension — From Plank

Now that you have mastered the first exercise, it’s time to move on to the more challenging version – arm and leg extension from plank position. To begin, walk your hands out until they are underneath your shoulders, and position yourself into a plank pose. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.

With your arms and legs straight, gradually raise your right arm and left leg simultaneously for a count of three seconds, then lower them back down for another count of three seconds. As with the previous exercise, perform this five times before switching to the opposite side.

During this exercise, it’s important to try and prevent your hips from rocking too much. The aim is to challenge your core stability and strength. If you experience any hip rocking, contract your abdominal muscles to gain control, and remember that patience and practice are key to improvement. After completing five reps on each side, gently return to a kneeling position and rest.

According to Harvard Medical School, plank exercises are considered the “gold standard” for working your core because of their ability to engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Planks are a highly versatile exercise, with numerous variations that can help target different areas of your core and ensure constant progression and development.

Improving your core strength and stability has many benefits, including better posture, increased balance, reduced risk of injury, and enhanced overall fitness. By incorporating these arm and leg extension exercises into your fitness routine, you’ll be well on your way to building a solid, supportive core and living a healthier, more active lifestyle.