When I first saw Deadbug performed live by well-known performance coach Eric Cressey, my little strength and condition was blown away. How can such a seemingly simple exercise, where you lie on your back and move your arms and legs, have such an impact? The magic lies in this necessity called core stability.
Your core has many important roles, but the most important one is to resist unwanted movement. The lower back doesn't like to bend and straighten because it's not designed to do that like the thoracic (upper back) spine does. Before some get their naps in a knot, the lower back won't explode when moved; it'd rather not.
Excellent core stability allows for smooth power transfer from the lower to the upper body, better technique in the Big 3 and Olympic lifts, and better movement on the court. Such a seemingly simple exercise with a silly name that will draw some odd looks, but will do this and more.
Here we go over the benefits of deadbug, what good form looks like, and four common deadbug mistakes that can ruin your progress.
If you get it right, here's what the deadbug can do for you.
- Increases movement of the contralateral limbs: This is the basis of most human movements; It is important to move the opposite arm and leg in a coordinated manner.
- Improves lumbopelvic stability: Fancy way of saying the dead bug strengthens the lower back and hip region. You know, core stability.
- Reinforces Better Breathing Patterns: Breathing into your diaphragm (stomach) is how you should breathe most of the time.
- Better Posture: Since your spine is on the ground, you better understand what a neutral spine feels like.
Good deadbug form
There's always a little wiggle room for the right shape because they're all composed differently, but these following points are non-negotiable.
- Knees should be over hips, hands over shoulders, and head on the floor.
- Your spine is neutral on the floor at all times.
- Take a deep breath before beginning the repetition.
- Move the opposite arm and leg.
- Exhale at the end of the rep.
Do you have it? Alright, let's address some common deadbug mistakes that keep people from getting the most out of this excellent exercise.
4 deadbug errors
This could be short by saying don't do the opposite of what was said, but here we will go into troubleshooting if you or your friends are making these mistakes while lifting.