2 weeks ago, as a personal trainer in West Los Angeles, I FAILED. I’m not too proud to admit when I’m wrong, so I’m going to tell you like it is. Dr. Tarek Adra (www.tarekadra.com) DC, Acc, Pharm D, Mathlete, and Number 1 MC blew my mind with Bruggers a couple months ago. I brought it to my own encyclopedia of exercises- but I was doing it all WRONG. Well, maybe not completely wrong, but here is the correct Bruggers position…AGAIN:
1. The hands and arms should stay on the side.
2. The emphasis on external rotation and finger extension.
3. The retraction of shoulders should be natural.
The powers of this position are vast, so I asked Dr. Tarek Adra (www.tarekadra.com) if he could go into detail about the position:
“I would say that most injuries these days are caused by repetitive strain or static strain injuries. People holding positions for too long and/or doing small movements over and over again. This behavior causes muscles and ligaments and discs to weaken by lowering their tissue failure point or said differently, their tolerance to load (like lifting) and sudden movements (like exercise).
Brugger’s is an exercise, Or rather a position that could be considered the anti-dote to sitting or texting or slumping or just plain crap 21st century human posture. It forces us to extend our fingers, wrists and elbows, externally rotate our shoulders, retract our blades, tuck our chin and straighten our spine and open our breathing! but most importantly, by doing this throughout the day, it stimulates our brains neurologically to
Get out of our habits and re pattern our behavior to allow more oxygen in the tissues and prevent future tissue degradation.
If you look over the Internet, you ll also find pictures of Moses, St. Francis of Asisi, and yogi yogananada, all assuming similar positions!”
Dr. Adra is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, next to the Dos Equis guy and Gandhi. He’s a great human being and pushes my scope of what I thought was possible for the body everyday.
I thank him for our continued work together and for getting many of my patients out of pain. If you or anyone you know is looking for a chiropractor that will get you better FAST, book an appointment ASAP.
2. Front Rack Position
Thoracic extension, when accompanied by a nice stable core, is key to getting you out of your smegal posture and into your ballerina posture (or ballerino…masculine version???). When we have the elbows up and in front of your body driving against gravity, we get large activation with the spinal extensors to counterbalance this weight from falling forward.
Just look at this great picture I have drawn on how this front rack position works.
The directional arrows represent the force vector of gravity (under the elbows) and the spinal extensors (on the back). Depending on the weight of the weight of the dumbells and how much you are already in kyphosis (smegal posture), the loading of the spinal extensors will increase/decrease appropriately to hold you an upright posture.
Or, if you don’t appreciate true artistry, you can look at these pictures:
Here’s my top 3 front loaded dumbbell positions:
FL Slideboard Side Lunge:
FL Alternating Diagonal Lunges: