MAC Exercise Spotlight: The Deadbug

The What:

A fundamental anti-extension core exercise with tons of different variations

  1. Standard - foundational movement used to help novice lifters recognize what core engagement really ‘feels’ like.

  2. Banded (Progression) - increased demand on hip flexion/extension.

  3. Weighted (Progression) - increased demand on core based on position of resistance.

  4. Swiss Ball (Progression) - used to help ensure controlled contralateral motion and increase demand on core and hip flexors.

The Why:

Deadbugs help with developing solid ‘breathing and bracing’ patterns. Proper core activation and spinal stability is involved in every movement we do. Most people try to strengthen their core using excessive spinal flexion, without learning how to properly engage in the absence of movement - crucial for rows, squats or deadlifts. Deadbugs are an anti-extension core exercise.

The How:

  • The start position is a supine (face up) lying position with arms fully extended above the shoulders, and hips and knees bent to 90 degrees. Knees should remain ~ hip width apart.

  • Before movement, inhale (breathe in) moderately and hold, brace the core and extend the opposite arm and leg (ex. Left arm; Right leg).

  • As you extend, think about pushing your lower back ‘into the floor’

  • Exhale (breathe out) as you return to start position and alternate sides

  • Repeat breathing and bracing patterns for every, single repetition

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