Dead bug

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.

Dead bug
Dead bug
Dead bug, straight leg
Dead bug, straight leg

Muscles involved in the dead bug



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.