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Week 47: Quadruped Rockbacks

Exercise: Quadruped Rockbacks

Purpose: To facilitate and emphasize hip hinging and core engagement while simultaneously targeting scapular stabilization

What It Targets: Co-contraction of the core and lumbar stabilizers: Transverse Abdominis, Obliques, Rectus Abdominis, Quadratus Lumborum, Lumbar Errector Spinae; Stretching and loading of primarily the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Hip Rotators, and Hamstrings.


  1. Begin on your hands and knees in a quadruped position with your wrists aligned under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

  2. Find a neutral position between lumbar spine anterior and posterior pelvic tilt

  3. Engage your core muscles to stabilize your spine.

  4. Slowly shift your weight back towards your heels, hinging at your hips while keeping your spine straight.

  5. Maintain a neutral spine position throughout the movement, avoiding any arching or rounding.

  6. Continue rocking back until you feel a stretch in your glutes and hamstrings, and a gentle engagement in your core muscles.

  7. Pause briefly at the end range of motion, ensuring proper muscle activation.

  8. Return to the starting position by rocking forward, maintaining control over the movement.

  9. Repeat as prescribed.

Main Cues:

  • Focus on keeping your core engaged to stabilize your spine

  • Keep your neck in line with your spine, avoiding any excessive movement or tension in the neck and shoulders

  • Ensure that your movement originates from the hips, rather than the shoulders or lower back

  • Maintain a steady and controlled pace throughout the exercise

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Tension in the shoulders and neck

Correction: Focus on relaxing the shoulders and neck while initiating the movement from the hips

  • Pain in the mid or lower back

Correction: Maintain a neutral spine position and decrease the range of motion or resistance if necessary; Maintain core tension and stabilization throughout the entire motion

  • Rounding of the lower back

Correction: Place an object (a yoga block or a ball) on your low back to serve as an external cue to avoid rounding or overarching your back. Do not let the ball drop.

Why We Love It:

  • Promotes proper hip hinging and core engagement in a gravity minimized position

  • Loads the scapulae and shoulder joints in a gravity minimized position

  • It's a low stakes method by which to teach proper hip hinge mechanics

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.

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