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


Abs Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Exercise Ball Dead Bug Overview

The exercise ball dead bug is a variation of the dead bug and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the abdominals.

The dead bug gets its name because when performing the exercise, you look like a dead bug lying on the ground with your limbs in the air.

The exercise ball dead bug adds an additional implement to the exercise (the exercise ball) in which you must keep elevated with your inactive limbs while performing the range of motion.

Exercise Ball 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 while pushing a physioball into your knees.
  2. Extend the opposite arm and leg simultaneously as you exhale and press into the physioball with the non working arm and leg to stabilize the ball.
  3. Return back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of total repetitions.

Exercise Ball 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.
  5. If you do not have access to a physioball then you can use a medicine ball.