In its basic form, the dead bug is a bodyweight exercise that trains both the abdominal muscles, especially the m. rectus abdominis, and the entire hip flexor muscles in an highly effective manner.
Muscles involved in the dead bug
- m. rectus abdominis
- m. iliopsoas
Correct execution of the dead bug
- Lie on your back with both arms and legs stretched out.
- Tense your abdominal and trunk muscles and lift your arms, legs and head a few centimeters.
- Now the right stretched arm is brought upwards until it forms a 90° angle to the floor. At the same time the left leg is pulled up until the thigh also forms a 90° angle to the floor and the lower leg forms a 90° angle to the thigh. Meanwhile, the left arm and right leg remain extended away from the body.
- The same movement is then made with the opposite side – always alternating.
Common mistakes with the dead bug
- Too fast execution: Slow, precise execution of the exercise is important for this exercise. The movement amplitude is low, so that you can concentrate on a correct execution.
- Moving of head and neck: Your head and neck should remain in the neutral position while performing the exercise. The head always forms a natural and loose extension of your spine.
- Hollow back: During the tension phase, take care not to “buckle” in the lumbar spine (hollow back) – the spine should always be straight and in line.
Tips to intensify the exercise
- To intensivate the exercise, instead of bending the legs, you can keep them stretched and bring them upwards.
- Furthermore, you can hold barbell plates or dumbbells in your hands or use a resistance band or the cable machine.