The dead bug is hands down my favorite core and ab exercise, I include it in almost every warm up session for my clients and it can work great for dedicated ab work. .
Why you should use the Dead Bug:
The thing I find most useful about the dead bug exercises is that they teach very directly how to brace the midsection. That is, what it should feel like to keep the abs engaged and the torso locked in as a stable structure during other movements and lifts.
It is a great exercise to include in a dynamic warmup series to get you feeling and thinking about your abs for the rest of your workout.
How to Do the Dead Bug
The key to performing the dead bug is in getting set up correctly. All of the basic Dead Bug Progressions set up in the same way.
- Lay on floor face up.
- Bend Knees and set up as if performing the Hip Bridge.
- This is where it gets tricky.
- You’ll bring your legs up so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your hips are barrel t the floor, almost like you had your legs resting on a couch. Essentially your legs will bent at 90 degrees & be squared up to the floor.
- So, I describe this next bit two ways, just use the one that makes the most sense to you:
- Roll/tuck the pelvis up towards the rib cage when you bring your legs up.
- Push your belly button down to the floor through your spine.
- order BOTH, you just want that low back glued to the floor.
- Set your arms up with the appropriately challenging variation you are using.
- Keeping the feet flexed towards your face, kick one leg out, imagining your are touching your heel to the wall.
- Alternate legs, keeping the abs engaged and the low back glued to the floor.
- Remember to take it SLOW and make the movement deliberate. Fast and sloppy dead bugs are worthless.
When to use the dead bug
As I mentioned above, I tend to use the dead bug in just about every dynamic warm up series I program; we’ll do acouple of sets of 10 -12 on each leg.
After a you get used to the basic version you can use one of the more advanced versions during your warm ups or use a moderately difficult version for your dedicated ab work.
Lastly, I’ll use them as part of some interval training or circuits to hit the abs.
Check out some progressions on the Basic Dead Bug in the video below!