4 Point Kneeling / Quadruped Exercise Progressions

Exercises in the quadruped 4 point kneeling position are great because they provide the individual with a great deal of support and stability and can be progressed and regressed to suit the demands of all individuals.  Typically I will prescribe a variety of quadruped 4 point kneeling exercises in my clients program if I am wanting them to further develop spinal control with peripheral limb movement.  Below are just some of the typical exercises and progressions I will often prescribe.

  • 4 point kneeling (hands under shoulders, knees under hips, spine neutral) + pelvic tilting (for mobility) + scapular push up (for scapular work) + rocking (back and forth for disassociation between hip and spine movement) + single arm movement (sagittal, frontal and transverse plane for shoulder/spine mobility) + single leg movement
  • 4 point kneeling + lifting either one arm or leg off the ground (for core control + limb movement) –> 4 point kneeling + contralateral arm + leg movement (core control + peripheral limb movement)
  • External load progression – 4 point kneeling exercises (as above) + band resistance (around foot or hand)
  • Balance/Stability progression – 4 point kneeling exercises (as above) + hand or knee balancing on dura disc/ball etc.
  • Crawling patterns (ipsilateral crawl  – same hand and leg moves, contralateral crawl – opposite hand and leg moves) + reverse crawl + lateral crawl.  These can be progressed by changing the focus on the exercise i.e. increase load and demand (knees off the floor), increased spine control (maintain neutral spine with minimal movement by placing foam roller/ball/dowel stick on spine), speed and movement variability (changing the speed and hand/foot placements).

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but just some insight into some of the exercises I select and reasoning behind why I might vary them.  As with any exercise selection, it all comes down to the person in front and what you are trying to help them achieve.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.  Heath has a particular interest in exercise rehabilitation and strength and conditioning.  He has completed ASCA Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Course, Powerlifting Association Level 1 Coaching Course, FMS and many more.  For all of your injury treatment and management needs, touch base with us at www.principlefourosteopathy.com.  Principle Four Osteopathy are one of Melbourne City CBD and Docklands leading osteopathy clinics.