The dead bug is one of the more popular exercises to help strengthen the low back. However, there are mutliple variations you can use in order to help your patients rehab a low back injury, or even non-specific low back pain.
Here are just a few variations you can use, starting with the simplest version.
Once your patient is really comfortable doing this simple version, and can do it with minimal discomfort for how ever many reps and sets you decide, then you can start to make it more difficult.
This next version is good as you’re more involved in the exercise with them.
Just grab an exercise band and give them some tension while the use the band to stabilize the shoulders and strictly use the lower body for the movement.
This next version is only providing some stabilization through one shoulder, while the other shoulder and opposite leg do the work.
If you don’t have a dumbbell or weight in your clinic, you can stand to the side with an exercise band and provide tension similar to how you did it in version #2.
This final version also involves an exercise band and makes the exercise just a bit more difficult, and a bit more coordinated.
If your patient is able to do all of the above variations this is a great option to continue increasing the difficulty and helping your patient with their low back strengthening.
As always your reps and sets will be up to your clinical decision making along with combined goal setting with the patient. Doing therapeutic movement with your patients doesn’t have to be complicated and most of what you need to do can be done right in your treatment room.
We just have to instil the confidence in patients that they are capable of doing it, while working together with them in their goal setting. Be confident and try doing some more exercises and movement with your patients. It will not only benefit them, but your practice as well.