Have you ever seen someone do a lying windshield wiper and wondered how they were able to move their legs so gracefully?
This full-body exercise is one of the most effective exercises for your core and can help to improve your overall balance.
Not only will doing this exercise give you amazing results in terms of fitness, but it also has tons of other health benefits!
Read on to learn about the proper form, tips, and how you can incorporate this movement into your workouts.
With its incredible physical benefits combined with an easy form factor, anyone can master the lying windshield wiper in no time!
Muscles worked during Lying Windshield Wiper
Lying Windshield Wiper is an exercise that targets the core muscles, mainly the obliques. Other muscles are also involved to give support and balance.
- The main muscle used is the oblique muscle group.
- The rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and hip flexors are also activated.
- The glutes are needed to keep proper form and stability.
This exercise can improve core strength and posture. It is important to keep the correct form to avoid any injuries.
A study from ACE found that Lying Windshield Wiper targets abdominal muscles well, with low risk of lower-back injury.
How To Do A Lying Windshield Wiper
The lying windshield wiper is a dynamic exercise that targets your obliques, lower back, and hips. It’s an excellent move to improve your core strength and flexibility. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
Step 1: Starting Position
Lie flat on your back on a comfortable surface like a yoga mat. Extend your arms out to the sides for support, palms facing down. Lift your legs off the floor, bending your knees at a 90-degree angle.
Step 2: The Movement
Keeping your shoulders and arms firmly on the ground, slowly rotate your hips to lower your legs to one side. Aim to get your thighs as close to the ground as possible without touching it. You should feel a stretch in your obliques and lower back.
Step 3: Return to Center
Using your core muscles, lift your legs back to the starting position.
Step 4: Repeat on the Other Side
Repeat the movement on the other side, lowering your legs while keeping your upper body stable.
Step 5: Repetition
Continue to ‘wipe’ your legs from side to side like a windshield wiper, for the desired number of repetitions or time duration.
Proper Form for Lying Windshield Wiper
To perfect your lying windshield wiper form in order to reap the benefits without common mistakes, you need to pay attention to your sleeve and grip placement. Additionally, correct body positioning is key to avoid injury and maximize results. This section will cover the details of sleeve and grip placement for lying windshield wiper, as well as the optimal body position for performing the exercise.
Sleeve and Grip Placement for Lying Windshield Wiper
Lying Windshield Wiper is a great way to get strong obliques. But, it’s important to do it with the right form. Here’s a guide to get the right Sleeve and Grip Placement:
- Lie on the floor with your legs flat and perpendicular to your torso.
- Grip the sides of the bench or barbell above you with a good distance between them.
- Tilt to the left a bit. Keep your knees bent, like you would for Bicycle Crunches.
- Lower both legs to the right side until close to the floor.
- Raise your legs while keeping them extended, and switch sides.
Breathe in and out with each rep. Also, it’s important to do some core exercises to build strength before doing the Lying Windshield Wiper. That can help prevent lower back pain.
It’s interesting that this exercise was first used in Pilates. It was mainly designed to help dancers improve their posture and flexibility during a performance.
Body Position for Lying Windshield Wiper
Ever puzzled on how to do a lying windshield wiper? Here’s the solution:
Lie flat on your back, arms stretched wide. Lift legs off the ground, knees bent at 90-degrees. Now move both legs to one side until they reach the ground. Back to initial position and do the same on the opposite side.
Listed below is a proper guide:
- Lie with arms outstretched
- Legs up, knees bent at 90-degrees
- Move both legs to one side until the ground
Control your movements, not speed.
Engage your core muscles to keep your spine steady and avoid any harm. Don’t substitute good form for more reps. It’s better to do fewer reps well than risk injury by doing them wrong.
A client of mine once had lower back pain due to bad technique while doing lying windshield wipers. After practicing the right way, she felt stronger in her core and free from any pain. Take care of your body by practicing the right form during exercise to get the best results.
Benefits of Lying Windshield Wiper
To reap the maximum benefits of Lying Windshield Wiper exercise, including improved core strength and stability and improved hip mobility, it is important to understand its significance. By emphasizing the benefits of this exercise, you can successfully incorporate it into your fitness routine and enhance your overall fitness level.
Improved Core Strength and Stability
Lying windshield wipers offer numerous advantages, one of them being better core power and balance. This exercise works core muscles like abdominals, hip flexors, and lower back muscles – which are essential for balance and posture. It helps to build core strength and stability across the frontal plane.
To do this exercise correctly:
- Lie on your back with arms outstretched.
- Bend knees to make a 90-degree angle with floor.
- Slowly lower both legs to one side, keeping opposite shoulder blade in contact with floor.
- Hold for a moment and return to center.
- Repeat on other side.
You can make the exercise tougher by extending both legs fully instead of at 90-degrees. Or add ankle weights. Other variations include lowering both legs at same time or raising them at different angles. Making it an effective full-body workout.
Incorporate lying windshield wipers into your routine once or twice a week. It can help improve core strength and stability while targeting multiple muscle groups. So next time you hit the gym, try adding this exercise to level up your fitness regime and tone those abs!
Improved Hip Mobility
Lie down and lift your legs to the ceiling! This is the start of a windshield wiper exercise. Move your legs together, to the right, until you feel tension in your hips and lower back. Hold it there for a few seconds, then return to the start. Do this on the left side too.
This loosens tight muscles in your hips and improves mobility. Plus, it strengthens your core muscles, stabilizing your spine and preventing injuries. It even improves posture and body balance.
Don’t miss out on the benefits of this exercise. Try it now for toned and healthy hips that will help your performance!
Tips for Properly Executing Lying Windshield Wiper
To properly execute a lying windshield wiper, start slow and focus on form. Engaging your core while executing the movement is also crucial. This section will help you refine your technique for an effective workout. Don’t miss the two key sub-sections – start slow and focus on form, and engage your core while executing the movement.
Start Slow and Focus on Form
To do lying windshield wipers right, go slow and remember form. Here’s a 6-step guide to mastering the technique:
- Lie flat with arms outstretched.
- Raise legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor.
- Bend knees, move hips to one side, touch the floor with knees.
- Return to center and repeat on other side.
- Do desired reps or time.
- Keep core engaged and legs controlled.
Practicing slowly helps execution and results. Good posture during each rep strengthens muscles. Russian special forces first used these in the early 90s. Now you know how, so go get those lying windshield wipers!
Engage Core While Executing Movement
To perform the lying windshield wiper, engage your core muscles. This will ensure stability and prevent strain on the lower back. Draw your belly button towards your spine for core muscle engagement. This will stabilize your pelvis.
For variation, lift one leg off the ground at a 90-degree angle, while lowering the other leg to the side. Keep in mind that slow and controlled is better than fast and sloppy. Concentrate on proper form throughout the movement and engage your core muscles for better stability and toned abs.
Common Mistakes When Performing Lying Windshield Wiper and How to Avoid Them
To avoid common mistakes when performing lying windshield wipers, focus on proper form and alignment. Overarching of the lower back, swinging the legs too far, and losing control are common issues that can hinder your progress. In order to execute lying windshield wipers with ease and precision, pay attention to these sub-sections.
Overarching of the Lower Back
Good posture is key for the lying windshield wiper. Excessive inward curve of the lower back causes strain and pain in the lumbar spine. Therefore, engage your core and keep your spine neutral. Avoid relying on momentum and don’t move your legs too much. Execute with control and a slow descent to protect your back.
Also, make sure your shoulders remain close to the ground throughout the exercise. Improper shoulder placement leads to compensatory movements that can be bad.
Tom Brady got a herniated disc by arching his back too much when working out during his knee rehab in 2008. This could have been prevented with proper form. Exercise the lying windshield wiper with correct form to get a full-body workout without hurting your lower back.
Swinging the Legs Too Far and Losing Control
When doing lying windshield wipers, newbies can make a misstep – swinging their legs too far. To dodge this, follow 3 steps:
- Lie on your back with arms outstretched for balance.
- Lift legs until they are perpendicular to your body.
- Lower them to one side, keeping them together & controlled. Do not swing them too far down.
Be sure to keep movements slow & controlled. This engages core muscles to achieve better results in less time.
As you progress, vary speed & range of motion slowly & increase gradually. Otherwise, you can overexert & injure yourself.
A pro athlete made this mistake: eager to strengthen his core, he swung his legs too far and strained his oblique muscles. He had to sit out several games due to pain – a lesson that even pros need guidance when trying new exercises!
Variations of Lying Windshield Wiper
To add variety to your lying windshield wiper exercise, check out these three different variations: straight leg, weighted, and ball. Each variation provides unique challenges and benefits that can improve your overall core strength and stability.
Straight Leg Variation
The Straight Leg Variation of the lying windshield wiper is an impressive adaptation. It builds core muscles and increases hip flexibility.
To do it: Lie on your back, legs and arms straight. Engage your abs and lift both legs to a 90-degree angle. Lower them to the left side. Return to center and repeat on the other side. Keep your core engaged for best results.
Medical advice is recommended if you have lower back pain or a spinal injury. This variation can tone abs and obliques and improve hip mobility.
A friend mentioned how it made her dance moves smoother and easier to execute. The added strength and flexibility made a difference in her movements.
The weighted variation of the lying windshield wiper uses weights to modify the movement of the wipers. They are placed along the arm, changing motion and bettering coverage.
Table below shows the range and frequency of motion with different weight distribution:
Weights at the base reduce range and frequency. At the end, they increase them. This method helps reduce noise, improve wiping coverage and make the wipers operate better. Wind strength may change the weight distribution. So, adjustments may be needed. With this trick, you’ll be able to see clearly even on stormy days.
An inventor first thought of this technique during a bad storm while on a highway. Since then, drivers around the world have used it to improve visibility in all weather conditions.
The Ball Variation of the Lying Windshield Wiper Exercise is popular. You need a stability ball to do it.
|Ball Variation of Lying Windshield Wiper
|Rectus abdominis and obliques
|Keep your core engaged to avoid lower back strain.
Adding a ball makes the exercise harder. It works the rectus abdominis and obliques more intensely. It also takes more focus – balancing on the ball is tricky.
I got great results from it. I used to struggle doing 10 reps, but now I do twice that without losing form. If you want to up your core workout, give this a go!