Deep Core Stabilizer 2: Arm and Opposite Leg

Opposite Arm to Leg 2 3 on each side Hold 10 sec 30 sec
LOAD Opposite Arm to Leg
REPS 3 on each side
TEMPO Hold 10 sec
REST 30 sec


  • Progress from Deep Core Stabilizer 1 exercise.
  • Strengthens the Hip, Low back, Core and Shoulder Stabilizers.

Targeted Muscles

  • Shoulder and Arm Musculature
  • Chest and Back Musculature
  • Deep Core Abdominal Musculature
  • Back of Hips and Back of Leg Musculature

How to Perform

  1. Begin on hands and knees in a table top position.
  2. Ensure a neutral spine by ensuring the shoulders are away from the ears. The upper spine stays long, while the low back arches slightly, creating a slight anterior tilt to the pelvis. Tuck your slightly bent elbows toward your rib cage.
  3. Inhale and allow the belly to drop towards the floor.
  4. Exhale and gently pull the belly button towards the spine to 20% contraction, while guiding the front lower ribs towards your pelvis.
  5. Recruit the pelvic floor muscles. For women it’s the Kegel exercise. For men it’s like standing in cold water.
  6. While maintaining your form, reach your right arm 45 degrees from the shoulder forward while reaching your left leg straight and back.
  7. Hold while you maintain your breath and form.

Common Challenges

  • It's important to not over contract or "grip" the abdominal muscles. Only 20 % contraction is needed along with maintaining your breathing and spine lengthening.
  • Another common challenge with this exercise is that it is easy to arch the upper spine, pushing the elbows out and away from the body and the shoulders forward and towards the ears. Try and keep the elbows tucked in and the shoulders away from the ears.
  • If while lifting your arm, you experience strain in and around the neck or if it pushes you out of a neutral spine, you can position your arm out at shoulder level as an alternative.

Alternative Exercise Suggestions for Patients with an ICD

On the side of the ICD, avoid extending arm over head. Keep at shoulder level or below.