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How To Do Dead Bug Correctly, For An Amazing Core Challenge

Sarah Regan
Author:
Updated on May 25, 2022
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
Last updated on May 25, 2022

Having a strong core is essential for overall stability, strength, and posture. If you're looking to spice up your total core routine with something other than crunches or planks, dead bugs are a fantastic option for workout novices and pros alike (seriously, this move is a much-loved favorite among fitness trainers). Here's how to do them, as demonstrated by fitness instructor Janeil Mason, M.S., plus tips, modifications, and benefits.

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How to do Dead Bugs:

Image by mbg creative
  1. Start by lying on your mat. Bring your legs up into a tabletop position.
  2. Keep your head resting on the ground, and press your hands into your thighs.
  3. Extend your left arm overhead, and stretch your left leg out straight, until they're both hovering a few inches off the ground (or as far as you can go without arching your back).
  4. Return your arm and leg to start. Continue for 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side. Rest for 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

Tips & modifications:

  • Throughout the entirety of the exercise, keep your low back imprinted on the mat and draw the belly down toward the ground.
  • For a dead bug variation, you can try hovering your opposite arm and leg (rather than the arm and leg on the same side).
  • Try incorporating wrist and/or ankle weights for an added challenge.
  • Another way to make this move more challenging is by lifting and lowering both legs at the same time (only try this if you can maintain stability in your core throughout).
  • To make this move easier, you can place the soles of the feet on the floor and slide your leg away from you rather than keeping it elevated.
  • If dead bugs bother your neck, you can support it with a block, cushion, or even a folded towel.

What are the benefits?

Whether you consider yourself a full-blown athlete or a casual gym-goer, everyone benefits from a strong core, and dead bugs can play an integral role. As Mason explains in her recent mbg moves workout video, "Core workouts are always a great choice—that's because having a strong center will help support your body during all of your other workouts, and in everyday life."

And for what it's worth, having a strong core can also be tremendously helpful in supporting the lower back.

As for dead bugs specifically, they work the abdominals, back muscles, and even give your arms and legs a bit of a challenge. Plus, thanks to the many options and variations available with this move, it's suitable for any skill level.

The bottom line is, while the name "dead bugs" might sound a little silly, leaving this stellar move out of your workout routine would be even sillier.

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Sarah Regan
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.