Prairie Dog Isometric Core Exercise
Prairie dog, aka bird dog, is another great core strengthening exercise. It is considered a unilateral, isometric stabilizing exercise as it predominately uses one side of the body at time (unilateral) and the muscle neither lengthens nor shortens (isometric.). Ensure you have a flat back when you go into your 4 point stance- that it, you are not arching or rounding your low back, and humping or collapsing between your shoulder blades.
Start by extending the leg out behind you and ensure your knee point directly towards the floor. Once you have complete control of this position, initiate bringing the opposite arm out in front of you. Do not let the extended leg rotate towards the sky and ensure your weight is evenly distributed between the knee and the hand still on the ground.
The key to having the prairie dog work the appropriate muscles to their maximal efficiency is dependent on hip to knee positioning. When you are in the position, ensure your knee is directly underneath the hip (as opposed to the hip being positioned closer to the shoulders.) This disperses the weight from the shoulder and forearm muscles and redirects it towards the abdominals and deep muscles of the lower back. Also, the foot that remains on the ground should be flat as opposed to curling your toes under.
This is an exercise geared towards increasing the endurance of the muscle so it should be performed until failure- that is until you can no longer hold the correct technique. Rest 10 seconds and repeat up to 5 times. Repeat on the other side.
If you currently have low back pain or experience it when performing this exercise, please discontinue the exercise and consult your health care practitioner. Vitality Clinic and Dr. Serné assumes no responsibility.
Have a great day,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Vancouver Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic