In an effort to provide more content on my personal blog, especially that in the multimedia format, I have decided to create a new series of blog posts with weekly installments entitled, “If You’re Not Using This Exercise, You Should”
The goal of this series is to help coaches at the high school level and beyond expand their coaching “tool box” with practical movements, drills, and exercises – ones that aren’t just for show, but ones that can positively impact a training program.
Each week I will post an exercise along with a video demonstration, as well as a brief description.
Enjoy this week’s exercise!
Full Deadbug with Complete Exhalation
Intro: The Deadbug is one of my staple core and trunk stability exercises.
Goal: The overall goal of the Deadbug – whether it be the most basic regression or one of the toughest progressions (as is the case with this variation) – is to keep the lower back flat against the ground and the “ribs down.” In other words, we are attempting to avoid extension from the lumbar spine out of neutral as we flex the shoulders and extend the legs (making this an “anti-extension” core stability exercise).
For the Full Deadbug with Complete Exhalation we are adding two very progressive challenges to basic Deadbug. First, we are doing a “Full” Deadbug, meaning we are reaching with both arms and legs simultaneously, rather than just a couple of limbs at a time. Secondly, we are challenging the trunk by completely exhaling at the end-range of this movement, and holding the spine neutral throughout the entire process until we have no more air to expel.
By completely exhaling, we are forcing the core musculature to stabilize the spine by itself, with no help of additional intra-abdominal pressure created by having the lungs and diaphragm completely expanded.
Implementation: I use the Deadbug and its many variations with all of my athletes, but I certainly do not include it in my Block Zero programming. We spend those first 9 weeks or so learning how to dissociate the pelvis from the lumbar spine, and just what pelvic and spinal neutral actually is. Once we move out of Block Zero, we begin implementing simple forms of the Deadbug.
The Full Deadbug with Complete Exhalation should be used with more advanced trainees who are capable of maintaining spinal neutral in more challenging circumstances and situations.