How to do the dead bug (exercise for the abs)

How to do the dead bug (exercise for the abs)
How to do the dead bug (exercise for the abs)

Watching an insect struggle to turn over when on its back may seem interesting to some, but did you know that this insect needs considerable force to turn on itself? You can use a technique similar to that of a struggling insect to strengthen your core belt without putting pressure on your lower back. You can try the dead bug in its classic form or with variations depending on your strength.


Method 1 of 2: Do the classic dead bug

Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 1

Step 1. Lie on your back

Sit down and contract your abs, pulling them towards your back. However, some fitness experts believe that contracting your abs inward is counterproductive and instead recommend loosening your abs. You can try both options and see which one seems to work best. Then use your abs to lean lightly on your back. Keep your back in its natural position without flattening it. This will help you practice the dead bug in the most efficient way possible.

When you release your abs, your back should be in its natural position, slightly curved. You should be able to fit a few fingers under the small of your back

Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 2

Step 2. Extend your arms

Lift them up to the ceiling. They should be taut, your wrists and hands above the shoulders. This will allow you to perform the exercise correctly and minimize the risk of injury.

Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 3

Step 3. Lift your feet, knees and hips

Bend your legs so that your knees are above your hips and ankles. Keep your abs and core tight by gently lifting your feet off the ground. Continue to use your abs to lift your bent legs 90 degrees. Your knees should be just above your hips, forming a straight line with your thighs.

Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 4

Step 4. Lower opposite legs and arms at the same time

Choose which arm you want to lower first. Keeping your abs tight, lower it at the same time as the opposite leg. Bring your arm and leg just above the floor and return to the starting position. Perform these movements slowly to make sure you engage your muscles properly and not use your momentum. This also prevents you from lifting your back off the ground.

Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 5

Step 5. Repeat with the other arm and leg

When you are done with the first side, raise and lower the other side. This will ensure that you are building both sides of your core belt evenly.

Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 6

Step 6. Perform three sets

Gradually increase the three sets from five to ten dead bugs. At first, you might only be able to do a single dead bug or go through sets until your abs start to shake with fatigue. Make according to your ability.

Method 2 of 2: Try the variations of the dead bug

Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 7

Step 1. Lower your arms and legs in varying numbers

You may need to try more or less easy dead bugs depending on your fitness level. Keep the initial exercise, but try to vary the combinations such as:

  • lower an arm, but not your legs,
  • lower both arms, but not legs,
  • lower one leg, but not the arms,
  • lower both legs, but not your arms,
  • lower both arms and both legs.
Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 8

Step 2. Add weights to the arms or legs

Strap a pair of light weights to the wrists or hold a dumbbell in each hand. The weight will make your muscles work harder and help you strengthen your core belt faster.

Use a rubber band if you don't want to add weight. The elastic offers the same results as the weights

Do the Dead Bug Exercise Step 9

Step 3. Extend your arms and legs in different directions

Prepare by putting yourself in the basic dead bug pose. Instead of lowering and raising your arms and legs, move each of them in opposite directions. This places great demands on your abs and boosts your strength and coordination.

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