Setting Up for Supine – Don’t Drop the Box

Setting up properly for many supine exercises (Dead Bug, Femur Arcs, Arm Arcs, Side-to-Side, modifications for Hundreds, Chest Lift, Criss-Cross and others), requires the legs to be in a 90-90, or table-top position.  This is pretty self-explanatory – 90 degrees at the knees and 90 degrees at the hips or, the shins are the table and the thighs are the table legs.  The challenge comes when we call on the client to maintain this position throughout the exercise.

As the client focuses more on the movement and the effort required to perform it, he or she often struggles to maintain positioning.  As the repetitions increase, heels drop towards the floor and knees creep closer to the face, effectively disengaging the lower abdominals and inner thighs.

Sure, all of the exercises can be performed without these engaged, but to get the maximum benefit from each exercise, stability and periphery muscles need to be employed.  So let’s keep that 90-90.

Here’s a cue to help out: have the client imagine a large cardboard box underneath the crook of his or her knee as they are in table top.  Maintaining the perfect 90-90 will keep the box in its place.  Dropping the heels or pulling the knees closer to the face will squash the box.  Raising the toes towards the ceiling will cause the box to fall.  Have the client focus on keeping the box in its place during the entire exercise.

If you have an appropriately sized box in the studio, you could even put it to use to illustrate the correct positioning at the start.


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