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Things You Should Know: Vol. 5

Right, good; left, bad.

1. Watch your torso angle during TRX rows

One thing I see a ton is an acute arm-torso angle during TRX rows. If you make this angle smaller (<90 degrees), you begin recruiting the upper traps in an upward row pattern. This happens for a few reasons

  • Upper trap dominance
  • Anterior core weakness
  • Poor form

One thing I will say is that due to the nature of the exercise, the TRX-torso angle tends to become larger as the concentric part of the movement occurs. However, I’d rather see the angle start at 90 degrees and become larger through the concentric action.

2. Deadbug progressions

Deadbugs are pretty much always the first anterior core exercise that I perform with anybody. The reason for this is that there are a bunch of a different ways to progress and regress deadbugs to challenge almost any individual.

Overall, deadbugs are pretty simple and there is only one key to the movement: keep the lower back flat against the floor and the hips tilted posteriorly. However, they can be extremely challenging and should be mastered.

I typically start most clients with only leg-based movements, adding in the arms later as a progression.

Basic deadbug.

Next, as I mentioned I’ll involve the arms, using alternate hip-extension and shoulder flexion to progress the movement. I’ve found that this typically challenges coordination more than anything and can be pretty funny to watch at first, although pretty frustrating for some. This is the deadbug variation that most of you are probably familiar with.

The next progression I’ll use is a core-activated deadbug. This can be done with the hand pressed against a wall, although I typically use a band, as in the picture below.

Core-activated deadbug with band.

The last variation I’ll use with people is a deadbug with a stability ball. I like this variation because it involves the coordination of an arm and a leg together and activates the core not only with the upper body, but also the lower body.

Deadbug with stability ball.

One thing to keep in mind is that in some cases, hip flexor tightness will overpower anterior core strength originally. This can lead to lower back arching and perhaps even pain. In this case, try regressing the movement with a few of the suggestions in this article:

Also, check out this article for more information:

Like I mentioned before, I believe that deadbugs must be mastered before moving onto stupid things like this.


Enjoy the bye week!

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