Today’s tutorial involves an exercise that, in a first look, can look a little bit silly but is powerful. We are talking about the inch worm exercise. Here is how you should perform it to challenge your strength and flexibility.
- The inch worm exercise is a bodyweight activity that will challenge your strength and flexibility.
- While it sits well within any main workout, it also works well as a warm-up and cool-down exercise.
- To perform inch worm exercise, you must begin in a push-up position (also known as front support). Hands shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width apart.
- With the hands fixed on the floor, slowly walk the feet towards the hands keeping the legs straight.
- When you have reached the limit of your hamstring flexibility, keep the feet fixed as you walk the hands forward, returning to the push-up position.
- Repeat for repetitions or time.
- While the inch worm exercise may look simple and easy to perform, proper execution demands reasonable control of body shape. Throughout the movement, there should be no loss of torso shape. In other words, the core muscles must remain active to prevent excessive arching or rounding of the back. The preservation of this tight shape is fundamental to several gymnastic movements, including handstands – which makes this exercise a useful drill for these gymnastic skills.
- The inch worm exercise is also dependent on hamstring flexibility. If your hamstrings are short/tight, you will have a greater distance between the hands and feet, or the back will start to round, and you will lose shape and control
- There is also a degree of balance involved – as you walk forwards, you will need to lean your shoulders over your hands slightly. This action requires not only stability but also a high level of wrist strength. If you lack wrist strength, then you may find yourself stopping short during the movement. Work on your wrist strength separately, and you’ll begin to notice an increased range of motion in the inch worm.