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American Family Children's Hospital
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Dead Bug with Arm Leg Touches

The Dead Bug progressions are exercises that focus on core strengthening while challenging coordination and smoothness of movement. This installment of Activity Avenue has intermediate and advanced core strength options.

 

If you have a history of low back or neck injuries or challenges or are new to this type of exercise incorporate the adaptations below or look in the Activity Avenue archives for the beginning Dead Bug exercise.

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Adaptations

 

To protect your low back, start this exercise with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor instead of legs straight.

 

Alternate right knee to chest, then left, still reaching across with the opposite hand.

 

Start with your heels closer to your hips, to increase challenge, move your feet further away from your hips.

 

Perform the movements (bent or straight leg) slowly, using strength and flow instead of momentum to bring your limbs up.

 

Note the cue in the video demonstration that reminds you to bend your knees a little if your hamstrings (the muscles in the back of the thigh) are a little stiff.

 

If raising your head with each rep is challenging for your neck, just do the legs and leave your arms in a T position.

 

Start with 5 - 6 reps per side, working your way up to 10 - 12 reps per side.

 

Video Demonstration of the Exercise