fitness · strength training

Christine and the Dead Bug Plan

One of my goals this summer is to increase my core strength.

I’m sure you already know the usual benefits of a strong core so I’m not going to drag you through that info.

As a martial artist, however, I have extra reasons to seek a stronger core. Strengthening those muscles will help me have balance for stronger kicks and they will help with the twisting motion that adds power to TKD movements.

I find a lot of core work to be really annoying and I struggle to keep good form. (There’s a whole host of reasons for that, too, but I am really trying to stick to my point!)

However, I have found one core exercise that actually enjoy. It’s detailed enough to hold my attention without being too intricate and it doesn’t cause me any strain in my upper back or neck.*

So, I’m making friends with dead bugs this summer.

(Not literally of course. That just seems counterproductive – the poor bugs wouldn’t even know you had befriended them. Ha ha!)

Two photos of person in exercise clothes lying on a mat and demonstrating different stages of the ‘dead bug’ exercise.
Image description: two photos of a person in exercise clothing lying on their back on a yoga mat and demonstrating different parts of the dead bug exercise. image source.

This exercise, which is demonstrated in the video below, involves raising and lowering your left arm and right leg and then your right arm and left leg. So, it’s got an extra element of brain-twistiness that helps me stay engaged with the process.

Plus, I always end up laughing when I mess up which limb to move when. Laughing during core work definitely has appeal, doesn’t it?

If you’re thinking ‘I’d like to try this but I’d have to work up to it.’ you can find progressive adaptations here.

What kind of core exercises do you do?

Do you include Dead Bugs?

Do you enjoy them?

*I know part of that strain in other exercises comes from poor form, it’s not the specific exercise itself. Still, it’s a deterrent and an extra bit of fussiness.

2 thoughts on “Christine and the Dead Bug Plan

  1. I usually do a couple of sets of Dead Bug during my short at-home core workout. When I was first introduced to this exercise in weight training class some years back, I had a hard time with coordination. Slowing way down and thinking about every move got me going. I don’t really enjoy it, but my PT recommended it (along with the Clam and the Bridge) after I had a hip replacement , so I am persevering.

    1. Oh, yes, the dead bug coordination can be very tricky! Slowing down is the only way to manage it.

      I haven’t had a hip replacement but I am very familiar with Clam and Bridge, too.

      I’m glad you are persevering, even if the exercises aren’t much fun.

      Thanks for reading! Good luck with the PT exercises.

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