The most stable posture for the human body is on our hands and knees in a quadruped position, also known as “all 4s”. This is a fantastic pose for strength training because these four sturdy balancing points support you from head to toe, while gravity amplifies resistance against your muscles.
The following all-4s workout, which requires only one dumbbell, will tone every muscle in your upper body, as well as improve your core stability. You should aim to carry out this exercise four times a week, and you should notice improved strength in your shoulders, chest, and arms in about 8 weeks.
This exercise strengthens your shoulders and chest without the wrist pain or stability woes that is often experienced in the standard push-up position.
1. Kneel on a mat or cushioned floor. Place your knees hip-width apart, then place your hands on the floor several inches wider than shoulder-width to come onto all fours.
2. Keeping your lower body as it is (butt stays up), bend your elbows and drop your chest towards the ground.
3. Extend your elbows to return to the starting position.
4. Complete 20 repetitions.
Grab a 6-pound dumbbell to work your biceps and upper and mid-back while being totally supported from your shoulders to hips.
1. Get on all fours with your knees hip-width apart. Hold the dumbbell in one hand and place it on the floor, directly under your shoulder and in line with your other hand.
2. Pull the dumbbell to your ribcage without shifting your body weight. Hold momentarily.
3. Gently return the dumbbell to the floor. Repeat using your other arm.
4. Complete 20 repetitions, alternating arms.
This exercise strengthens your lower back and shoulders, with or without a dumbbell. It also tones your buttocks too.
1. Get on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and hands planted directly beneath your shoulders.
2. Reach your right arm forward and left leg backward until they are even with your torso. Hold momentarily.
3. Return to your starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg raised.
4. Complete 20 repetitions, alternating arms and legs.
1. Get on all fours with your knees hip-width apart, but this time plant only your right hand, while holding a dumbbell with your left and digging that elbow into your ribcage. Flex to take the dumbbell in toward your shoulder.
2. Extend your right elbow to take your arm out straight behind you, tensing through your triceps. Hold momentarily.
3. Flex the elbow to return to your starting position.
4. Complete 10 repetitions on each arm.