Trunk Stability Exercises – Inspired By Stu McGill

In the video below you will see one of Principle Four Osteopathy clients performing 3 different trunk stability exercises – high plank variation, side plank and birddog.  These have been prescribed as part of the clients daily program to work on addressing deficits that have been identified with an aim to assist in general strength and conditioning training and carry over into squats, deadlifts etc.

High plank with alternating shoulder touch – the aim of this exercise is to maintain a stable trunk position as one moves from 4 points of floor  contact to 3.  The typical compensation pattern we see is a rotation through the trunk (often at the hips) as we lose a disconnect in tension between the trunk and hip.  One will naturally have to shift some weight across to the grounded hand, however our aim is to maintain a stable torso throughout.  When we think about more conventional upright training exercises such as the squat with barbell walk out, deadlift, lunge and step up varieties, depending on the complexity of the exercise variation and load positioning, one might have to counter rotational pull through the torso.

Side plank variation – this is an exercise focusing on building frontal plane trunk stability.  This is commonly required in exercises such as farmers walks, lunges and step ups whereby one might have a bilateral or unilateral load.  Maintaining stability in the frontal plane, shoulders and hips is especially important.

Birddog – this is an exercise that requires the individual to maintain a stable trunk position (maintaining their version of neutral spine) whilst moving the leg and hip.  This is especially important for any exercise that involves movement at the legs and hips in an upright position.  The aim of this exercise is to regress to a more stable environment and allow the individual the opportunity to work on trunk positioning whilst moving arms and legs.

This article was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.  Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading osteopathy clinics. We are located on Level 4 of 178 Collins St (within Pleasance House) alongside Optimal Health Exercise Physiology.  We have a fully equipped strength and conditioning exercise rehab space with osteopathic consult rooms.  Our team of osteopaths have an interest in manual therapy, strength and conditioning, exercise rehabilitation and ergonomics.  Read more about our team here.  Book an appointment online here or call us on 0396709290 to arrange an appointment.

Screenshot 3 Trunk Stability Exercises - Inspired By Stu Mcgill













Getting to Principle Four Osteopathy – 4/178 Collins St Melbourne CBD

Trams – Trams run straight out the front of us, with the closest stop at Swantston st and Collins St.  

Trains – We are a short 5 minute walk from Flinders St Station, Parliament and Melbourne Central train station.

Parking – off street parking is available on Little Collins St, Russell St and in the many parking businesses (Wilsons parking) nearby.