Add Instability to Dead Bugs to Increase Core Strength

This Dead Bug variation trains your core to keep your trunk stable while your limbs perform explosive movements on the field.

An athletic core keeps your trunk stable while your limbs perform explosive movements. A stronger core will allow you to exert greater strength and power with your legs and arms while wasting less energy and protecting yourself from injury.

However, most core exercises isolate the abs or other core muscles and don't train the core to lock in your torso while your arms and legs are moving. The Dead Bug fixes this problem.

The instability of the Dead Bug variations below forces your upper body to coordinate with your core musculature to maintain control as you hold the stability ball. You can also take the Dead Bug to the next level by performing it on a foam roller. Research has found that lying on a foam roller increases core activation compared to when performing an exercise on the ground.

These are advanced variations, so make sure you master the basic Dead Bug before attempting these. The video above outlines some great Dead Bug variations that should be added to your toolbox:

  • Assuming you have a squat rack with pins, attach a heavy resistance band to the pins of the rack, preferably five holes above the ground for the Swiss ball variations.
  • Lie on your back and position yourself with the Swiss ball under the band. Line the band up with your upper chest, directly under your clavicle, but you might have to find the right position for yourself. Grab the Swiss ball with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Perform a Dead Bug with the Swiss ball in a locked-out position.
  • Remember with any Dead Bug variation, please keep your lower back in the neutral position (not arched and ribs tight), make sure each movement is slow and controlled and do not forget to breathe through each alternating rep.