Deadbug Exercise - How To Do Deadbug Abs Exercise [Guide w/ Video]

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

How To Do Deadbug Abs Exercise?

Below is a video showing you how to do the deadbug abs exercise.

There are some example workouts further down in this article and a step-by-step guide to the deadbug exercise.

Be sure to do this exercise on soft floorings, such as a padded mat or a rubber floor.

Try to keep your hips and lower back still throughout this exercise.

Do the deadbug workout with control and do it slowly - don't use fast movements.

Engage your abdominal muscles and keep your lower back against the floor.

The Deadbug Exercise Step-by-Step:

  1. Lie on soft flooring and keep your lower back and hips pressed to the floor.

  2. Keep your shoulders down and towards the floor.

  3. To get into your starting position, lift up your hands so your elbows are above your shoulders with your hands facing in toward each other.

  4. Then lift up your legs so your knees are directly above your hips.

  5. Exhale - slowly lower your right arm and left leg until they’re floating just above the floor.

  6. Inhale - bring your arms and legs back to their starting position.

  7. Hold this position for a set amount of time, usually between 0-10 seconds depending on your preference and workout.

  8. Repeat this process on the opposite side - your left arm and right leg.

  9. Once finished this would be 1 rep.

How To Make The Deadbug Easier?

The are multiple ways to make the deadbug exercise easier, however, we have listed the best ways to make it easier below:

  • Start by doing one arm and one leg at a time - then try to do both arms and both legs at one time.

  • Lie on your back keeping both feet on the floor - then slowly slide one foot away from you, then bring it back and switch legs. This makes the exercise much easier.

  • Start by decreasing the range of motion of the exercise by not moving your arms and legs down the entire range of motion - slowly increase the range of motion by increasing how far you move your arms and legs down over time.

making deadbug exercise easier
Keeping both legs on the floor makes the deadbug easier

How To Make The Deadbug Harder?

There are also multiple ways to make the deadbug exercise harder. The best ways are listed below:

  • Make use of ankle weights, dumbbells or kettlebells - these will increase the weight on your arms and legs making the exercise harder.

  • Try lowering both arms and both legs at the same time - this will increase the difficulty of the exercise.

making deadbug harder image
Lifting both legs at once makes the deadbug harder

Deadbug Muscles Worked:

The primary muscles worked from the deadbug exercise are as follow:

  • Rectus Abdominis (core abdominal muscles)

  • Obliques (side abdominal muscles)

The deadbug also works many other muscles for stability and other movements such as:

  • Quadriceps (front leg muscles)

  • Deltoids (shoulder muscles)

deadbug muscles worked diagram
Areas highlighted in red are the main muscles worked

Deadbug Benefits:

The benefits of the deadbug abs exercise are vast.

Because the deadbug is a compound (multi-joint) exercise it requires the use of various muscle groups, as shown above.

It has these benefits:

  • Improves overall strength.

  • Improves flexibility.

  • Increases abdominal muscle growth.

Deadbug Workout Examples:

A great example of using the deadbug exercise in a workout is the 6-Day 6-Pack workout.

Example 1:

  1. Deadbug: 2 Sets / 12 Reps / Hold for 3 seconds

  2. Plank: 2 Sets / Hold for 30 seconds

  3. Side Plank: 2 Sets / 8 Reps / Hold for 3 seconds

Another great example of including the deadbug abs exercise in a workout is our 30-Day Ab Challenge.

Example 2:

  1. Deadbug: 2 Sets / 10 Reps / Hold for 2 seconds

  2. Reverse Crunch: 2 Sets / 8 Reps / Hold for 2 seconds

You can make, change and adapt workouts to your style, program and experience.

Check out our other exercises in our exercise guides on

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