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Level 1 Quadruped Exercise for All Players.

Imagine having a table with 3 legs.This table would not be too sturdy. Now, lets turn you into the table with 3 legs.This way your core has to work to stabilize your body.Having a strong base for your arms and legs to move is crucial for the production and transfer of power, and for injury prevention.The purpose of this exercise is to move your arms up and down, without excess movement of your body.This is a level 1 (beginner) exercise, with harder variations to come.

Starting Position

  • Start off on your hands and knees (your hands right below your shoulders, and your knees right below your hips). Keep your back and your neck in a neutral position (don't look up or don't look down). You want to promote strengthening of your core in proper spinal alignment. 
  • Push your hands into the floor, causing your shoulder blades to separate from each other, but try not to arch your back. Your shoulder blades should move forward in relation to your body. This is called scapular protraction. This movement helps strengthen one of your scapular stabilizer muscles, the serratus anterior (important for goalkeepers). 
  • Now activate your transverse abdominis (T.A.) muscle by pulling your bellybutton towards your spine.
  • Take a look at the "Working Your Core Outside of Practice or the Gym?" article to help you find the neutral spine position and to help you activate your T.A. muscle.

Performing the Exercise

  • Keep your T.A. muscle activated throughout the whole exercise.
  • Lift one arm up and point it forward slowly. Look for control, not speed.
  • Bring that arm back down to the floor, and repeat with the other arm.

Try not to let your body move or tilt when performing this exercise. If you place a broom stick from one side of your low back or shoulder to the other side, and it falls off, then your body is shifting too much.

A good amount to start off with is 3 sets of 10 repetitions. When 3 sets are too easy, then add one more set.

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