24 gifts – day 15: How to prepare for 4-point-kneeling exercises

Hands release

How to prepare your hands for 4-point-kneeling

When I think back to my early pilates days, I could barely be in 4-point-kneeling for a few repetitions. Needless to say, I wasn’t very fond of that position – to put it mildly.

I see something similar happen with clients.

How do your clients feel about 4-point-kneeling? Most of the time they like the exercises but they find it hard to be weight-bearing on their hands. Do yours also complain about pain in their wrists?

The thing about being in 4-point-kneeling is that in order to improve weight-bearing on the hands, you have to, well, practice weight-bearing on your hands ;o). What we practice we usually get better at.

There are all sorts of work arounds to relieve the compression in the wrist which I am sure you have tried, such as standing on the knuckles or lifting the ball of the hand higher up compared to your fingers. These measures do work.

What I found is that we can give the hands some extra help by giving them some proprioceptive input. This way we can ensure a much better connection up through the arm and into serratus anterior and thus we have a better chance to work with shoulder stability and weight-bearing.

So let’s try this today.



What is the exercise about?

  • Prepare the hands, wrists, arms and shoulder girdle for exercises in 4-point-kneeling.
  • We also get some release of the hands and lower arm.


What do I like about it?

  • I like the release aspect of the hands and lower arm. We always think of releasing the shoulders but maybe sometimes forget that shoulder release can also be achieved by releasing tension in your hands.
  • This exercise also improves your grip for holding, pushing or pulling. So if you work with weights or bands, this can be a really good prep as well.
  • You sit in a deep hip flexion, especially when you try to roll your lower arm.
  • You also shift your thorax from side to side which means that your are indirecting mobilising it.
  • This exercise is also great if you have worked for too long in front of the computer.


What prop do you need?

A small ball – I personally like a small softer spiky ball.


Where to place the prop

  • First under the palm of your hand
  • Then under your lower arm


Which course/workshop is the exercise from?


And here is the video …

Video length: 3:12 minutes


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