Deadbug – Abdominal Exercise

Deadbug: The dead bug strengthens the abs and core without putting strain on the lower back. (which can be a concern with sit ups and many other common ab exercises.) Lie supine with arms held out in front pointing to the ceiling. Then bring the legs with knees bent at 90-degree angles. This is the starting position. It’s important to get the back as flat against the floor as possible. You shouldn’t be able to get a hand in between your back and the floor, and you need to maintain this position. Slowly lower the right arm and left leg at the same time, exhaling as the same time. Keep going until the arm and leg are just above the floor, being careful not to raise the back off the ground. Then slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite limbs.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Set up for the pose by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, about a foot away from your hips. Rest your arms alongside your body.

  • Allow your shoulders and lower back to fall heavy to the floor.
  • Draw your shoulders down away from your ears. To get into the starting position, lift your hands so your elbows are above your shoulders with your fists facing in toward each other.
  • Lift your legs so your knees are directly over your hips.
  • On an exhale, slowly lower your right arm and left leg until they’re just above the floor.
  • On an inhale, bring them back to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • This is 1 rep.

Start by doing 1 to 3 sets of 5 to 12 repetitions on each side.

Once you’ve mastered the dead bug and can easily do a few sets, you can progress to more advanced variations. Or you can build a longer routine composed of variations ranging in difficulty.

Deadbug Variations

There are several modifications and variations of the dead bug exercise to make it more or less challenging. Variations include:

  • Heel taps. Keeping your knee bent, slowly lower one foot at a time and tap the floor with your heel.
  • Leg extensions. Press one foot away from your body to straighten your leg, hovering it above the floor.
  • Leg raises. Straighten your legs so your feet are facing the ceiling, then slowly lower down one leg at a time.
  • Palms against the wall. Bring your arms overhead and press your palms into the wall with your knees above your hips. This is great for beginners.

Check out these other resistance training exercises:

Resistance training is covered in the  Cert 3 in FitnessCert 4 in Fitness,and Diploma of Fitness.