November 28, 2010

Dead bugs are great

The dead bug has my favorite name for an exercise; it also is a favorite for how it tones the abs while strengthening the back.  This picture of the advanced version explains the name:

Start with the basic version first: Lie on your back with your legs bent in the air, your arms are straight up; palms face each other. 

Notice how your back feels on the floor; it may be slightly arched or flat against the floor.  Keep this feeling in your back the same, brace your abdominals as if someone is going to punch you, and reach one arm towards the floor above your head.  Alternate arms.  

Once you can do this easily, touch a bent foot to the floor.  As with all ab exercises your form is more important than the movement.  

After you can maintain perfect form with this, try to lower the right leg and the left arm together.  Make sure you keep the pressure on your back the same the whole time (do not let your back arch up or press into the ground).  Then repeat with the left leg and right arm.  
 Once you can do 12 of the above easily (and with perfect form), you can move on to the straight leg version:
 I am happy to report that I found no web images with horrible form, though it is a little better on your shoulders to keep your palms facing each other.

Once you can do these well you should notice tighter abs and decreased back pain.

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