Thursday, May 2, 2013

A New Look At Old Stuff: Dead Bugs

I'm all about learning new things. Despite what people may think, I'm well aware of the fact that I don't know everything...even though they think that I always sometimes act like I do.

I am stubborn though, and often once my mind is made up about something it's tough to change it. This is particularly true when it comes to things like vegetarianism, Tracy Anderson and wearing socks with sandals. Please don't fucking do it.

One of the strength coaches at BU, Dan Sanzo, got me to change my mind about the lamest of exercises: the Dead Bug.

It's an exercise you learn really on in your fitness life, and one that I forgot about almost instantly. Whomever taught it to me didn't do a great job of teaching it, and I didn't know enough to think my way through it or ask more questions. I just went through the motions and thought "fuck this, I'm too strong and awesome for this, time to deadlift". Well now that I'm a little older, smarter and more mature (and had someone good to teach me) I've started to look at this in a whole new way.

Dan deadbugs the SHIT out of the mens basketball team. They do it as a warm-up, as a filler exercise, before practices and before games. The guys are basically deadbug pro's at this point. Why? Turns out that, when performed properly, it's a pretty awesome exercise. Here's what a good one looks like:

So, what's going on here and why is it awesome: first, you want to think about "crushing" the ground under your low back. This cue will help fire up the core musculature while preventing your ribs from flaring up. Second, you'll be squeezing the cone between your elbow and knee which is going to cause an even bigger contraction in your core.

The muscles in your trunk (abs, obliques, TVA, glutes, QL, erector spinae, etc) need to all fire up and work together to prevent any movement while your limbs move and flex/extend around them. This makes it a very safe exercise that is applicable to just about every population I can think of. There are dozens of variations and can be rotated through a program at will. No matter how good you are at them, they are never an easy exercise.

Give it a shot and see what you think, you might change your mind about an old exercise.

Have a great day, and go lift some heavy shit!


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