Have you been enjoying your Mat Pilates class? There is a lot to remember and your Physiotherapist has suggested practicing your exercises at home.

Kelsey has put together this video for you to follow along with at home. Phew, that is going to make your home practice MUCH easier.

The Quadruped Exercise is also known as the Bird Dog and has been shown to be an effective movement to reinforce proper spinal alignment and core recruitment. A lot of our daily actions require a quick response from our core, picture grabbing the door before it slams shut in the wind. We also rely on core stability for actions such as picking up the baby or grabbing the roasting pan from the oven.

Performing the Bird Dog is quite simple:

  1. While maintaining a neutral spine, kneel on your mat in a quadruped position with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
  2. Raise your opposite arm and leg straight out: be sure to keep your abs braced and your whole body in one straight line from head to foot, no sagging in the middle!
  3. The goal is to resist rotation and extension forces that attempt to destabilize your spine.
Proper execution can produce a variety of benefits, including improvements in core musculature innervation, rotary stability, spinal alignment, reduced low-back pain, postural control, shoulder stability, hip alignment, shoulder mobility and spinal stabilization. In addition, the contralateral (opposite arm and leg) movement improves the ability to integrate a strong pillar while simultaneously coordinating upper- and lower-body movements – great for when you are dancing! Whether you’re an athlete, fitness enthusiast or an active individual looking for a way to improve your low-back function and spinal health, the Bird Dog is a worthwhile drill that has been prescribed to you for many important reasons.

Watch the video and follow along with Kelsey’s instructions to get the most out of your home practice.