How to Do The Dead Bug


The dead bug is an exercise that has gained some popularity in Vancouver over the last few years. However, a lot of people do it wrong so in this video we show how to do it properly.

Nicole: Can you teach me how to do the Dead Bug? I see everyone doing it at the gym and I can’t get it. It seems pretty easy to me.

Gillian: That’s the dying mosquito… definitely. Okay. Let’s see your starting position. I just want you to bend your knees a moment, bring your feet down and we are going to first check-in with your body.

So do you feel like you have equal pressure across the back of the hips? Have you got equal pressure across the back of your rib cage?

Nicole: Yes.

Gillian: Now keeping equal length through both sides of your rib cage length through your neck. Make sure that your head feels comfortable. We are now going to bring your legs one at a time to tabletop…brilliant. And the other one, can you keep that equal pressure across the back of the hips?

Nicole: Yes.

Gillian: All right. Now, bring your hands up towards the ceiling, palms facing in. Perfect. So the idea here is you have got to use your breath. You’re going to use your deep core muscles to maintain stability through your core as your arms and legs are in motion.

So you’re going to bring one leg down and bring down the opposite arm away from you. Inhale that up. Exhale… I want you to pull that in. And again, you do not want to feel any shifting through your pelvis or your torso. Inhale the other leg down and exhale and bring that back and let’s do that again and help reach into your nicest, stable exhale back in.

So even though you have one leg, you still want to feel like that leg is actively assisting in maintaining your pelvis and as you reach back and feel like you’re arching your back to get that motion. Only go as far as you feel comfortable in that range. What do you think, Nicole? How’s that feeling?

Nicole: It definitely helps with the cueing, without the cueing, there’s a tendency to want to sort of sink into the move and allow that big gap. And then also the cuing while making even pressure from left hip to right hip, and then obviously if you have shoulder issues, you don’t have to do the arms and you just be here.

Gillian: Exactly.

Nicole:  And just really focusing on that core, but this is nice actually having that coordination piece and trying to keep the shoulder girdle. It sets in the spot versus sort of sinking in.

Gillian: Now you’re going to check in with the rest of the body, make sure you’re not creating tension through the neck or the jaw….Shadow, what do you think?

Nicole:  (Speaking for Shadow) Meh… where’re my treats?

Gillian: Where’re my treats? Yes…

Nicole: Where’re my treats?

Gillian: I don’t know. Let’s go get them.


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