How to Do the Dead Bug

Looking to help strengthen your core? Learn how to complete the dead bug with these Pro Tips.

There are many different strength training exercises that can help train your core. Some exercises require equipment, while others do not.

One core-strengthening exercise that doesn’t require any equipment is the dead bug.

“This exercise trains the deep core stabilizers to maintain proper pelvis positioning while enhancing motor control,” corrective exercise and performance enhancement specialist Drew Walsh says. “The dead bug teaches athletes how to activate their core prior to moving [their] upper body and lower limbs.”

As mentioned, there is no equipment involved. However, instead of lying directly on the ground, you can use a fitness mat.


Woman Demonstrating Dead Bug Exercise

To begin, lie down with your back making contact with the ground. Your feet should be flat on the ground with your knees pointing toward the ceiling. Your legs will make a “V” formation. Meanwhile, your arms should be directly by your sides, with your palms on the ground or on the mat. Your fingers should be pointing toward your toes.

The back of your head should also be in contact with the ground.

Once you’re comfortable, follow these steps:

  • Raise your legs up with your toes and knees pointing toward the ceiling. Your legs should be in a 90-degree position. Keep your upper body in the same position, with your arms at your side and your back and the back of your head in contact with the ground.
  • Move your toes slightly, pointing them toward your shins.
  • Exhale and drive your lower back into the ground.
  • Take your right heel and tap the ground. Your leg will go from a 90-degree position to a slight bend as it helps get your heel to the ground. Move your leg in a slow, controlled motion. Avoid hitting your foot off the ground.
  • Once you’ve tapped the ground, slowly bring your leg back up to a 90-degree position.
  • Repeat the motion with your left leg.
  • Alternate your legs as you continue this exercise for a set number of repetitions.

“For the athlete, if they feel their lower back come off the floor, we’ve lost pelvic stability,” Walsh says.

The dead bug isn’t the only core-strengthening exercise you can add to your next workout. Follow along with these Pro Tips on how to incorporate the reverse superman to help strengthen your core.