Salamander Pose

Today I’ll share with you my absolute new favorite exercise that I’ve translated into a yoga pose:

salamander.gifSalamander Pose

It’s my new favorite because it combines shoulder stability, hip stability, and core stability!  You can even spice in some glute activation!  This beautiful movement does a whole body good 🙂

It comes from the corrective exercise the Reverse Salamander and was introduced to me by Dr. Perry Nickelson of Stop Chasing Pain via this youtube video.

Get ready to get on the ground and break a sweat because this one can be a doozy!


Start: Forearm Child’s pose.

  1. Plant your elbows under your shoulders
  2. Keep your palms flat (rather than interlace your fingers)
  3. Bring your hips wide and the tops of your toes flat to the ground as well


Step 1: Inhale – Lift your Right Leg

  1. Ground into your palms, forearms, and Left knee
  2. Lift your right light up and straight
    1. Keep your toes pointed to the ground


Step 2: Exhale – Lower onto your side-hip on the Right (The hardest part)

  1. Control your descent and lower onto the outermost part of your right hip
    1. Try to land with your hip first, before your knee and ankle
    2. As you get better and establish more control try to land with your foot directly behind you (I’m still working on this part as you can see in the above image)
  2. As you lower down, gaze over your opposite (left) shoulder


Step 3: Inhale – Relift your Right Leg

  1. Control your ascent and lift your leg back to where it was in Step 1
    1. Keep your toes pointed down
    2. Use your Right glute to help extend your leg


Step 4:Exhale-  Forearm Child’s Pose – Other side

  1. Return back to Forearm Child’s and then repeat on the other side


Here’s a video of that whole sequence:


*Don’t cheat!  Remember to breathe throughout the entire exercise

**Keep your shoulders active and strong then entire time

***You can repeat this exercise, breath to movement, if you’d like.  Try to do 3x on each side!  Remember to go slow and control your descent onto your side hip (slowly lowering to the count of 4 tends to help teach that level of control)

****If this hurts your shoulders/hips/anywhere DON’T DO IT!

Bonus Gluteal Activation Spice Up!

(Left – Toes untucked/Right – Toes tucked)

  1. After lowering down keep your back leg straight and behind you
  2. Untuck your toes (shoelace topside of your foot to the ground) and lift your hip and knee off the ground
    1. “Squeeze your butt, relax your quad/thigh”
      1. (This is borderline impossible so focus!  Try to isolate your butt from your quad)
  3. Tuck your toes, lift your ankle off the ground
    1. “Squeeze your butt, relax your quad/thigh”
      1. (This one is much harder than the untucked toes, use your focus and try to isolate your butt!)


As I’m sure you felt this is pretty intense for all the major joints and muscles of your torso.  The magic is in the ability to control your descent to the ground, so really try to get your hip down first, before your knee and ankle.

Your shoulders and neck get some good strength from holding your upper body firm as you lower down, so make sure you are gazing over your opposite shoulder as you lower onto your side hip to get the most out of your upper body.

The ability to dissiminate your butt from your quad is HUGE.  This helps your brain repattern your butt so that you use it more and effectively.  Often times your quad over dominates your butt (hence the “squeeze your butt, not your thigh” cue).  Reset that dominance and bask in the benefits of a strong, active, and well patterned butt.  Your back and body will thank you for it!

That’s all!  Enjoy this one folks it’s a tough one, but it’s really good for stabilizing all the big areas of your body.


You’ll definitely feel a burn and generate some sweat.

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