Bench Exercises: Deadbugs on Bench

Among the wide range of bench exercises that you can do in the gym or at home, there is one called the dead bug that a lot of people are looking out for amping up an existing fitness routine.

The Basic Dead Bug Exercise

Experts and trainers call this exercise the dead bug because of the position that you use to practice this core strengthening activity. To do the dead bug, you will be on your back with limbs extended, or alternately folded upward.

This exercise can be done on an exercise bench, although more commonly, trainers use an exercise mat and do this exercise on the floor.

Basically, beginning from a position where your limbs are tucked up your torso, you’ll want to extend one leg or the other while simultaneously extending one arm. Some individuals like to do the dead bug with opposing limbs, while others extend the right leg and right arm, then the left leg and left arm. Returning to your original position with limbs folded makes one repetition of the dead bug. Doing multiple reps will work your core and limbs, and although you might not think of this as a very challenging activity, the natural role of gravity does help this basic motion provide a good resistance challenge.

Benefits of the Dead Bug

This exercise does work the limbs, but more than that, it provides a challenge to the core muscles. A variety of core muscles in your torso are responsible for helping you balance and control overall body movements. Some of these muscle groups are the same ones that are positioned around your waistline or stomach area. That means that working your core generally helps you to slim down in this area of your body.

Safety with the Dead Bug Exercise

Because the dead bug exercise doesn’t include a heavy weight load, you are not really as much at risk with this activity as you would be with some free weight exercises. However, because of the positioning involved, your back might be a bit vulnerable. To do this activity safely, just make sure you don’t over extend your limbs to the point where the exercise puts too much pressure on your back. Start out slow and use slow, controlled emotions for a better result.

Additional Challenge with the Dead Bug Exercise

For more of a challenge, use a fitness ball to increase their resistance when you retract your limbs from their extended position. As you bring your leg and arm back into your torso, you will press against the fitness ball, and your limbs and core work harder to overcome the resistance challenge.

As a freewheeling, low resistance exercise, the dead bug is one of those classic activities that utilizes the unique balance of your body to challenge your core. Think about adding this popular item into your regular fitness routine.


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