Feb 25

Shoulder Injuries- Core Exercise Modification: Swiss Ball Dying Bug

Shoulder pain from overuse or previous shoulder injuries can impede an individual from performing certain exercises in the prone position.  The prone position or “face down” position is where the arms are posted out underneath their chest or where one must hold their body weight over their elbows.  A great alternative to utilizing the core musculature to strengthen the abdominal, spine and shoulder muscles is to do supine exercises core exercises.  The supine position is when the body is positioned with the back against the ground.

A great supine core engaging exercise is the Swiss Ball Dying Bug.  Performing this exercise is a modification to individuals who may not be able to perform core strengthening exercises from the prone position to due various symptoms of pain in this position.  We all know that pain is not productive for optimum human performance, so let’s do what we can to ensure that we avoid pain throughout exercise and after exercise as well!

Here are few queues and how to perform the Swiss Ball Dying Bug:

  1. Position yourself flat on your back holding a Swiss Ball in between your hands and knees.  Your arms will be perpendicular to the ground and your knees will be bent at a ninety-degree angle with your thighs perpendicular to the ground
  2. It is important to ensure that you are putting your hips in a neutral position and actively rotating the crest of your hips toward your belly button and actively pushing the rib care toward the belly button and crests of your hips
  3. Maintaining this stable position extend the opposite arm behind you with the opposite leg in front of you. (e.g.  Right arm goes behind you in unison with the left leg going in front of you).  Repeat this for repetitions of 4, 6, 8 or 10.
  4. To modify this exercise, simply extend your arms and legs to where they are not so close to the ground. This will put less torque on your back and hips and not as much force production on your abdominal muscles.

This is a great exercise to put in any exercise routine because it not only strengthens the core muscles of the abdominal region, hips and spinal region, but it also adds a component of coordination training.  Coordination training is significantly important because it makes us more agile, athletic and reactive in our everyday lives.

So, use this exercise if you are experiencing shoulder pain and having problems doing planks or any other exercise in the “face down” position.  In addition, add to your exercise routine in general to help refine your fitness and human potential!