When we crawl, walk, and run, our limbs work in a reciprocal pattern to propel us through space. The muscles in the middle of the body conduct force from the hip to the opposite side shoulder. Unfortunately, age, injury, and sedentary lifestyle can hamper control of reciprocal limb movement. If you lose this primal movement pattern, then posture, movement efficiency and respiration become impaired. Performing the mobility stick dead bug on a regular basis will restore reciprocal movement, normalize posture, and resolve pain.
Mobility Stick Dead Bug
Lie supine on the floor. Lift the legs up to 90 plus degrees hip flexion with the knees bent to 90 plus degrees. Place a short mobility stick between the right hand and the top of the left knee. The further up you position the right hand on the stick, the more challenging the exercise. The right arm is positioned at 90 degrees shoulder flexion. Brace the abdominal muscles and hold the spine in a neutral position. For most of us, that means a slight hollow in the lower back. Inhale at the start of the exercise but do not permit the bottom of the rib cage to rise. Hold the spine completely still and exhale as you extend the right leg and simultaneously reach the left arm up and outward. Hold the leg and arm in the extended position for two counts and then return back to the starting position. Perform five to ten repetitions. Reverse the position of the stick and repeat the exercise on the other side.
Most fitness clients would be better served by working on training activities that integrate rather than isolate their muscles. The lateral subsytem is the name given to the series of muscles that work together as a coordinated team to hold us upright and stable. Activities that repeatedly reinforce the neural recruitment of these muscles will produce carry over to a better gait and a more durable body. Watch the video demonstration and then try two trips through this series of exercises.
1. Mobility Stick Dead Bug x 5 each side.
2. Rack Hold Slow March x 20 yards.
3. Forward Crawl x 20 yards.
Watch the video: youtube
Michael O’Hara, PT, OCS, CSCS