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American Family Children's Hospital
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Dead Bug

This exercise is a good abdominal strength and stabilization exercise. You will also get the benefit of active hamstring stretching and a little brain-body work while coordinating the right and left side body movements!

 

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There are two different movements with this exercise. The second movement helps you focus on opposition work. Both begin in the same position.

 

Beginning Position

Starting Position for Dead Bug Exercise

Start by bringing your legs into a 90 degree bend at the hips and knees. Your knees will be over hips, your shins will be parallel to floor

 

Bring your arms to a similar position. Your elbows are bent 90 degrees and lined up over your shoulders. Your forearms will be parallel to the floor, fingers long as if you are framing a wide brim hat.

 

Movement One

 

Dead Bug Position One

Start in the beginning position (above)

 

Extend all four limbs toward the ceiling, reaching through your heels and fingertips. Watch that your legs don't fall away from your body; instead keep your knees above your hips. Your elbows should similarly stay anchored above your shoulders.


Return to start position.


Let the above movement match your breath. Extending limbs up toward the ceiling takes as along as your inhale takes, and the returning movement taking as long as your exhale.


Repeat 6 - 10 times.

 

Movement Two

 

Dead Bug Position Two

Start in the beginning position (above)

 

Extend your left arm and right leg up to ceiling. Pause and return to start. You can again pace this with a slow breath in and out.


Repeat with other side, left arm with right leg.

 

It will often take some practice to coordinate your sides to move smoothly.

 

Repeat 4- 8 times each side, and then gently return your limbs to the floor.