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Quadrupeds: Introduction

Quadrupeds are animals that move about on four legs, like dogs, cats, horses, and cows. Their four-legged gait gives them an advantage over two-legged creatures like humans, since they can cover large distances more quickly and maneuver more easily in difficult terrain. Quadrupeds also tend to be quite agile, capable of jumping, running, and even swimming. These special creatures come in all shapes and sizes, so no matter your preference there is one just right for

Transcript

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This is Brent of the Brookbush Institute, and in this 
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video we're going to go over the quadruped which  
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we typically use for transverse abdominis, or  intrinsic stabilization subsystem activation.
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This is definitely one of those fundamental  core exercises I think everybody should know.
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I'm going to have my friend Adam come out, he's  going to help me demonstrate this exercise.
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Now the first thing we're going to do is get  Adam into a quadruped position, which ideally  
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would actually be a six point position, and that  is hands underneath the shoulders, knees directly  
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underneath the hips, and then notice Adam's  dorsiflexed here so that he can engage his feet,
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push back a little bit which is going to help  engage his glutes a little bit. Now the  
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whole point behind the quadruped position is to  put yourself in a position where your abdominal  
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contents weigh down against your anterior abdominal  wall. So now there's actually some resistance to  
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the drawing in maneuver, and that drawing  in maneuver is just bringing your belly button  
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in, kind of not sucking in the center like as hard as you possibly can, but just gently  
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pulling your lower abdomen away from your  waistband is probably a good cue. Now once we  
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get Adam doing that, the next thing we probably  want to do is make sure he's still breathing,
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because people have a tendency to draw in or suck  in and then they stop breathing. That's going to  
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make this exercise very difficult if we're going  to do this for 30, 60, 90 seconds, all of a sudden  
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Adam turns blue and the exercise is over. So he's drawn in, he's looking good, now  
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what we're going to do is challenge his ability  to use those muscles to aid in stabilization of  
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his torso as we add certain stability or balance  challenges to this. Now to ensure he's doing this  
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perfectly I'm going to use this softball  on his back. This becomes a kinaesthetic cue  
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where I'm going to go okay Adam for all the stuff  that we do you can't lose this ball, this ball has  
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to stay right here, and if you can I don't even  want it to move. I really want you to try to  
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feel this, make sure you stay drawn in and  hold that ball right there. Now this is tough for  
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some people, just doing this right here especially  if we're talking about somebody with lumbar spine  
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pain can be a pretty serious challenge to hold on  to for 30 seconds. Now if we can get somebody past  
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this, the first challenge I'll give them is just  go okay you're going to be the tabletop, but we're  
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going to start removing legs, well in this case  your arms. I'm going to have you just slowly march  
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just like this. And all I'm  having him do is this real nice and slow  
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working on moving this ball as little as possible,  maintaining the drawing and maneuver and breathing.  
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Of course he should feel his feet engaged, he's got  his glutes engaged because he's pushing  
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back through the floor, and you see Adam's got  this down pretty good, but I can tell you guys  
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Adam's not only a friend, he has been a patient  of mine. He's had periods of of low back pain and  
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no matter how good he gets at quadrupeds and  some of the other progressions that we'll show  
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in later videos, sometimes he has to come back  to this because pain creates some reflexive  
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changes in our motor unit recruitment that'll  make this hard for him again. How's that feeling?  
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Pretty tough. Yeah once you add this ball the whole  game changes. Now we're going to increase the lever  
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length here on his arms as our next progression,  what I'm going to have him do is go into scaption,  
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which is just thumb up arm elevation, just out  a little bit, so not quite straight but out this  
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way a little bit. It tends to feel a little  bit better on the shoulder to go thumb up  
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and you can see now he's essentially  taking away the same amount of stability  
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as he was with marching but adding this gives a  bigger lever for him to have to stabilize against.
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Nice job Adam, nice job.
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And you can see he's maintaining the  ball and of course drawing in maneuver is  
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still right there Adam's a pro. So next what  do we got. Well the next progression there is a  
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a little bit of controversy over the next  progression, if you're asking me I think the  
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next progression is opposite arm opposite leg  raise. There are some people who think just legs  
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is the next progression. Now here's the theory  behind these two things so you guys can make a  
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professional decision on which way you think you  should go. I think opposite arm opposite leg raise  
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is easier than just legs because if he lifts this  leg, this arm essentially counterbalances this leg,  
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when he doesn't have this arm he doesn't  have a counterbalance. Now the alternative  
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argument is if he does just his leg, he still has  three points of support which he doesn't have  
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when he does opposite arm opposite leg. I usually  don't find that having the three supports  
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helps all that much, but we could go in either  direction and you might have to experiment  
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a little bit. I find more often than not I go from  marching to scaption, to opposite arm leg raise.  
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So let's go through that for sure now Adam. So  he's going to go this arm, right arm is going  
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to go out into scaption while he goes straight  back with his left leg. Now notice when he goes  
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back with his leg I'm actually going to have him  point his toe, plantarflex good, and notice his  
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toe is just a couple inches from the floor.  If Adam tries to go up with his leg instead,  
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you can see he immediately goes into lumbar  extension, which is what we don't want. Remember  
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the whole idea behind these exercises maintaining  the drawing in maneuver and keeping all of this  
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incredibly steady, right this is a stabilization  exercise, no motion. So I always say reach back  
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not up. Oh that's one point, one point gone.  This is like golf though the higher your score  
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the worse you are. So here we go  opposite arm opposite leg, Adam did pretty good  
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on that one and then he can come back and  he can try to switch which is really tough,
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good and then if you're asking me I actually think  now let's try just legs. Alright we're going to  
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try just switching legs, make sure you come all  the way back to dorsiflexion on your other leg, oop,  
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there you go. Sorry I gave him  too many cues there. So  
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point your toe out, all the way out, there we go  perfect, and then back, there we go drive into  
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this foot a little bit so that you get stable,  and then go with the other leg, there you go,  
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dorsiflex get that toe in, good drive into this  foot, now back with this leg, good. Do you find  
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this harder or the opposite arm opposite leg  raise harder? (This one). Yeah so he finds legs  
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harder and I think with a healthy population for the most part you're going to find that just  
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legs is actually really really challenging. Now if  you want to take away a point of contact we can  
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make yet another progression  and go okay Adam what we're going to do  
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is we're going to go just this leg, just  your left leg and I'm going to remove
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this support .So we're going to have you put your right hand on your  
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left shoulder. There you go. I can't get my left and  right straight, I can get all the muscles straight  
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but not my lefts and right. That's awesome,  good and then we're going to go just this leg, and  
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that's actually really challenging. This is not  an easy progression to do at all. How does that  
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feel? (Super tough). Super tough, takes a lot to draw  in, he's even getting some good glute activation.  
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It takes some thought to learn to  drive through this leg so we get some glute  
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stabilization here, and notice that ball is staying,  that's tough. This is the key guys, Adam's making  
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this look way easier than it actually is. So there you have it, this is the quadruped.  
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You can put your arm down for a second. This is  the quadruped for transverse abdominis activation  
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which in actuality if you go back to my  article on the intrinsic stabilization subsystem  
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is, transverse abdominis activation is always  activation of all these other muscles too that  
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stabilize the lumbar spine that are a little  bit deeper. So this is intrinsic  
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stabilization subsystem activation more accurately.  I think this is one of those foundational  
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core exercises. This is how we started, is on  the floor in quadruped position with first  
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just arms marching, then arms with scaption,  then opposite arm leg raise, then just legs,  
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then legs with one support removed, and then  from here we could go into things like the  
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hardest quadruped progression ever which  we have a video on that, dynamic quadrupeds  
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or Adam's going to be showing you his  resisted quadruped crawl in a future video.