THE ULTIMATE CORE EXERCISE
The bear position for me is a full body exercise that can be used to strengthen muscles, stabilise joints and kill your core. Of course, if done correctly. Let us go over execution first and the benefits of good execution.
➡ Make sure to spread your fingers and place your hands on the floor, so that your middle fingers are pointing forwards. Your wrist joint need to be directly below the shoulder joint and your elbows need to be placed into extension, which believe it or not is what people struggle with the most 🙊 ➡ Externally rotate your arms, but do not let your shoulders follow. Lock your shoulder blades into depression - away from the ears. This will help activate the lower trapezius and rhomboids. Find a mid point for scapula retraction - do not the scapula go into complete retraction, keep it the middle, so that you feel that the muscles are working and the shoulder girdle is stable. Make sure to keep cervical spine into a neutral position. Keep your eyes on the floor 👀
➡ Create a posterior tilt with your pelvis. This will help contract the Rectus Abdominis and will also allow you to contract the obliques and TVA later on with the breathing. Your hip joint needs to directly above the knee joint. In a way you are creating a small square between your wrists and knees. ➡ Take a deep breath in and raise your knees off the floor, but keep them close to it. Do not let your hips elevate higher than your shoulders. Ideally same level, or slightly below. Do not lean forward, keep your weight in the centre of the square.
➡ Breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth. Once you exhale, create a vacuum with your Transverse abdomens and obliques, by pulling your naval towards your lumbar spine. If you want to make it harder, also contract your pelvic floor on the exhale. On the inhale, relax the contraction, but stay off the floor. Exhale - repeat. ➡ Keep going for as long as possible, but do not let your lower back kick in. The moment you feel lower back pain, come out and re-adjust the position.
☑ Shoulder stability - you are allowing the glenohumeral and scapulothoracic joints to work together by creating depression and retraction - brilliant for improving posture.
☑ Hip stability - Your coxal joint is working hard to keep you in the centre of the square and your gluteus are in a contracted position.
☑ Core stability - The breathing is what really hits your core. Pulling the belly in and contracting the pelvic floor creates a compression of the abdominal wall.