Jessica Bento, MPT
I have done a MILLION of these, I have prescribed them a million times! What are “they”?
I know, a very unfortunate name for such a popular exercise, but they are a cornerstone to my physical therapy programs and now have seen their way into fitness more and more.
In physical therapy we used Dead Bugs as a means to teach foundational cross patterning and how to stabilize the pelvis while the limbs move.
Did that not help?
When we walk you will see that our opposite arm and leg walk together to produce motion. That is why the classic Seinfeld episode where Molly Shannon doesn’t swing her arms when she walks is so funny! Okay, maybe I am dating myself here, but I am sure SOME of you remember that legendary episode!
So, when we run, kick, throw, walk, do most activities our body works in natural cross patterns. Unfortunately, these very fundamental human motion is almost NEVER trained in the gym. Probably because people can’t point to one muscle that it works. That is because we aren’t concerned with one muscle, but rather how groups of muscles interact together. That really is the essence of functional fitness and what we mean when we talk about “bringing strength to life!”
Now, some coaches have begun to use crawling drills in their workouts to stimulate this cross patterning. Nothing inherently wrong with crawling, except it may be too much for many people and miss one of the most important aspects of the Dead Bug which is really learning how to control your pelvis when you move. This little talked about idea is really why “core training” is suppose to help your low back. The better your trunk can work in conjunction with the arms and still hold good alignment of the pelvis, the less stress your low back will experience.
Sounds easy, but actually doing it well can be difficult. That is why we came up with the following DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Dead Bug series. Whether you are learning how to cross pattern, control your pelvis, or maybe don’t have the upper body strength to crawl, you will find this amazing series. Oh, and if you think you are too advanced to benefit from this series I have seen some ridiculously strong guys struggle even with the first level of the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Dead Bugs. Try it and see if you have real world strength and true “functional core” abilities!