The dead bug exercise is a common core move that targets the muscles of the abs, lower back, and hip flexors. The dead bug can help improve stability, balance without making your back hurt in the process. Here’s how you can do the dead bug exercise at home:


1. Beginning Position

  • Lie on your back on an exercise mat or a flat surface.
  • Bend your knees to table top so that your knee is in line with the hip
  • Lift your feet off the ground so that your ankles are in line with the knee


2. Arm Position

  • Reach the fingers to the sky, with your wrists in line your shoulders.
  • Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.


3. Engage Your Core

  • Tighten your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine. This should create a slight arch in your lower back.


4. Execution

  • Simultaneously lower your right arm and left leg toward the floor.
  • Keep your core engaged by pulling your belly button down.
  • Pause when your arm and leg are just above the floor and hold for a 3 count.
  • Return to the starting position by bringing your arm and leg back to start.
  • Change legs and arms, lowering your left arm and right leg.
  • Continue alternating sides five to ten reps per side.


5. Breathing

  • Exhale as you extend your arm and leg to the opposing walls.
  • Inhale as you return to the starting position.


6. Reps and sets

  • For beginners I suggest you start with with 8-10 repetitions on each side for 2 sets.
  • As the exercise becomes easier you can increase the repetitions or sets to make it more challenging by adding a stability ball to press into.


The dead bug is a common exercise that physical therapists often prescribe patients who are experiencing low back pain. The dead bug is designed to improve coordination and stability without stressing the low back and causing pain.. It’s important to perform the exercise with proper form to avoid straining your lower back. If you’re new to this exercise or have any pre-existing medical conditions, I suggest you talk with your doctor before adding any new exercise into your current routine.

If you need a workout program to follow, I have a Beginner Pilates Series to teach you the proper form, rhythm and precision points of the exercise. All in an easy to follow App or On Demand Platform.