Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypeIsometric
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Abs Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Dead Bug Overview

The deadbug is an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the abs. The exercise stems from the plank exercise family tree.

The deadbug works as an anti-extension abdominal exercise in which you must keep the spine stable as you slowly raise your arm overhead.

The deadbug gets its name because you look like a dead bug on its back with its legs in the air when you are performing the exercise.

Dead Bug Instructions

  1. Setup in a supine position with your legs in a 90/90 position (90 degree bend at the hips and knees) and your arms reaching towards the ceiling.
  2. Extend the opposite arm and leg simultaneously as you exhale.
  3. Return back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of total repetitions.

Dead Bug Tips

  1. Do not hold your breath, you shouldn’t be using respiration to compensate for a lack of stability. Learn how to move while maintaining position without having to rely upon your breath.
  2. Move slowly but methodically. The goal is control within space, not simply completion of repetitions.
  3. Ensure that you exhale as the arm moves overhead and the leg extends. The goal is to keep the ribs down and prevent the lower back from hyperextending.
  4. If you can’t maintain a neutral spine while moving the arm and leg simultaneously, then begin with just the arms or legs by themselves. Only incorporate more elements when you’ve mastered control of the individual components.