Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dead Bugs for Abs

The Core Training for Smart Folks article found in the Good Reads section lists one of my few staple abdominal exercises: the dead bug. It's great for getting the pelvis tilted backwards [posterior pelvic tilt] for those with poor posture [anterior pelvic tilt] and creates stronger abs.

The article lists a set of progressions from beginner to advanced strength levels but I've found it to be a rather large difficulty jump in certain variations or outright awkward. I've played around with reps, sets, tempo, and ankle weights which has proven to help. However after extended use it can become a stale exercise.

Fortunately Sarah Rippel has created a video demonstrating other variations and progressions of the dead bug exercise. (More details and images can be found here.)

Single-leg lowering is much easier than double-leg
whether it's bent legs, marching, or straight legs.

One last piece of advice I'd like to offer is use a preceding exercise earlier in your session to groove the body for hard posterior tilting of the pelvis. The lockout in deadlifts is a perfect example. There's a big shift in the entire pelvic girdle when the hip flexors are extended and the glutes are contracted at the end of a repetition (think about "humping" the bar).

Related articles,


  1. Hi Niel! I am just now realizing that you gave me props for my dead bug vid/post! :) I'm a few years late...BUT...wanted to thank you anyway! I appreciate it!

    1. Better late than never! Thanks for visiting and commenting Sarah.

    2. Hehehe! :) Right?! You are welcome! I am digging your site! LOVED the Diane Fu workshop writeup! I'm a noobie to the Olympic lifts. Better late than never there, too! Although I've been training for powerlifting for the past two years, I love the fact that I feel more well-rounded by incorporating weightlifting into my program. I also love the fact that I am continually learning technique. yadda yadda yadda! Anyhow, thanks again and also thanks for putting out some excellent content on here!

    3. Sure thing Sarah. I do have more Olympic weightlifting articles coming in the near future so keep checking in!


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