The opposite prone arm and leg raise is done by lying flat on your stomach and raising one arm off the floor while raising the opposite leg at the same time. According to the American Council on Exercise, this exercise targets muscles of the back, buttocks, hips and shoulders.
The trapezius is a large diamond shape muscle that covers your upper back. It attaches to the bones of your neck and mid-back and runs to the collar bone and scapula. The trapezius lifts your shoulders up and brings your shoulder blades closer together.
The erector spinae muscles run from your neck to your lower back on either side of your spinal column. These muscles bend and straighten you back and they also help twist your torso.
The deltoids give your shoulders their dome-like shape. They have three parts: The anterior, medial and posterior deltoid. The deltoids start at your collar bones and shoulder blades and run to your upper arm bones. They move your arms up and out toward your sides.
Gluteus maximus forms the fleshy part of your buttocks. They attach to the pelvic bone and the sacrum, which is the base of the spine, and run down to the top of your thigh bone. Gluteus maximus is a hip extensor, which means it straightens your hip.
Four quadriceps muscles give the front of your thighs their shape. They run from the top of your thigh down to the tendon that holds your kneecap in place. The quadriceps extend your knees to straighten your legs.
Four hamstring muscles form the back of your thigh. They run from the bottom of the pelvic bone down to the tops of the tibia and fibula, or the lower leg bones. The hamstrings bend your knee and they help the gluteal muscles straighten your hips.
The American Council on Exercise recommends performing the prone opposite arm and leg lift so you can focus your efforts on the target muscles. Keep your elbow and knee straight and avoid any rotation in your arms or legs. Your head and torso should be still and do not lift your chin.
- ACEFitness.org: Contralateral Limb Raises
- Essential Clinical Anatomy, Fourth Edition; Keith L. Moore
- Clinical Anatomy by Regions, Eighth Edition; Richard S. Snell
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