There’s nothing quite like embodying the movement qualities of a venomous, stinger-whipping arachnid. Maybe it’s the ability to strike at a moments notice, or the cool feeling you get from rapidly redirecting your limbs in a coordinated, yet unpredictable manner. Then again, we might be over-complicating this. Maybe it’s simply the pincers. What I wouldn’t give for eight legs and a pair of pincers!
Fortunately for the human race, we don’t need to transform into scorpions to experience the sheer excitement that their movement abilities offer. Don’t believe me? Well, have a look at this…
The Elevated Scorpion and Circular Scorpion Bodyweight Exercise Tutorial
Elevated Scorpion – Technique Tips
1) Begin the movement in the quad squat position – squat deeply and place your hands on the ground in front of you, with hands angled inward and elbows slightly flaring out to your sides. Lean forward until your back is roughly parallel with the ground. You should now be balanced on your ball of feet. Be sure to remain equally balanced on all four limbs in the quad squat. This is your starting position.
2) Weight transfer to one leg, and lift the opposite leg directly upwards into the air. Open your hip until you’ve reached your maximum range of motion. This is a modified version of single-leg downward dog pose.
3) Once you can reach no further, externally rotate the raised leg and allow the knee to relax and hang downwards.
4) Continue to externally rotate the raised leg while turning your body to follow suit, until the leg starts to pass up and over your body’s centerline. At some point in this range of motion, your arm (the same side as your raised leg) will lift off the ground.
5) Continue the circular motion until you can plant the foot on the ground, just outside of where your opposite arm was planted. You are now balanced on 3 limbs.
6) Push forward with your planted arm, to bring both hands in front of you in order to re-enter the quad squat position.
How to do the Circular Scorpion
The circular scorpion is done exactly the same way as the elevated scorpion, except you initiate the movement from the end point of the elevated scorpion and pivot on that laterally-extended leg (circling around the planted leg). This is a slightly more challenging and more exerting movement.
Benefits of the Scorpion Bodyweight Exercises
These biomechanical exercises are useful for several things:
- building strength in the hips and spine by putting stress on the joint capsules
- building strong muscles and connective tissues around these joints
- shaving away tension in and around your joints and connective tissues
- healing scar tissue in your hips and lower back
- developing better hip mobility
You can integrate the scorpion exercises into your training program in many ways. I often include it as part of my daily personal practice for the purpose of active recovery. Generally, performing 3-5 repetitions is adequate for a good release in the joint capsules, but you can perform as many as are necessary to receive a full muscular release, too. How many repetitions you need to perform will be specific to your needs, but to give you some perspective, I generally need around 10-15 reps for a full release.
Both of these movements are fun to do and come with a slew of health and fitness benefits. If you enjoy this type of movement training, I recommend looking into the TACGYM program that contains dozens of other similar exercises.
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CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPT
Health-First Fitness Coach