How To Do Dead Bugs Core Exercise

Dead Bug Core Exercise (Complete How To Guide)

Dead Bug is an excellent core exercise for teaching athletes how to brace and coordinate movement while maintaining stability.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Dead Bugs including important coaching tips and a few alternatives in case you need them.

How To Do Dead Bugs

Equipment Needed

  • None

Muscles Worked

  • Core Abdominals (Rectus Abdominis, Obliques Externus Abdominis)
  • Tensor Fascae Latae (TFL)
  • Quadriceps Rectus Femoris

How To

  • Begin by lying on the floor on your back.
  • Raise both arms straight up toward the sky.
  • Bend both knees at a 90-degree and raise the legs until the knees are directly vertical of the hips.
  • Tuck the hips and flatten the low back against the ground.
  • Brace the core and simultaneously lower the right leg and left arm toward the floor.
  • The arm should end up six inches from the ground directly overhead.
  • The leg should end up six inches from the ground directly below the hip.
  • Return both back to the starting position and then lower the opposite arm and leg.
  • Continue alternating back and forth, pausing and ‘locking-in’ each rep.

Coaching Points

The back will naturally want to arch as you go through this movement. Try not to let it. Keep your hips rolled up and your low back flat against the ground.

Don’t rush through this exercise. Stay nice and slow and under control. Pause each rep at full extension before returning to the starting position.

Dead Bug Alternatives

Need an alternative for Dead Bugs? Here are a few similar exercises that you may be able to try out.


Female Athlete doing Planks

Planks are probably the most popular of all the core stabilization exercises and for good reason. They’re extremely effective, require no equipment and can be challenging for both beginners and elite athletes.

They’re also easily modified with form variations and/or weight to increase the challenge or change the emphasis.

Stir the Pot

Stir The Pot

Stir the Pot is another core stabilization movement that is sneaky, sneaky hard.

The exercise looks very simple. Jump into a plank position with your forearms on a medicine ball and make small circles with your elbows. However, the amount of counterbalance and stabilization it takes to maintain your position while shifting around on a stability ball will challenge almost anyone.

More Links and Info

If you’d like to see more core exercises, head over to the Core section of our Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of core exercises, all with detailed step-by-step instructions.

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