The Deadbug exercise has been around for many many years, yet very few people include it in their training programs.
It is a great way for individuals to train their Diagonal Stabilization (reciprocal pattern). Meaning the connection your body makes with opposing appendages (i.e. Left Arm, Right Leg).
Your body works in more diagonal patterns than you may think. Here are a few examples: Throwing…anything. If you throw with your right arm, which leg to you step forward with before you throw? Thats right..your Left Foot.
The simplest example that you would never normally think about is walking. As you step you usually walk with a little bit of a “swing” with your upper body. If you pay close attention to it (nobody normally does), you will notice that as you step the opposite arm swings forward. If you try to “correct” this by swinging the same arm as you step it will feel extremely weird. This is because our body works in reciprocal patterns. Just like how our left brain controls the right side of our body, same basic concept.
So in order to train the core muscles in this pattern you need to establish the movement pattern of opposite arm, opposite leg. There are 2 good ways to accomplish this, Quadruped (on your hands and knees) and Supine (on your back).
The Deadbug focuses on the supine pattern (notice the picture of the Dead Bug). There are a few different variations in which to perform the exercise (materials used). I used a stability ball for the demo video but it can be done without one, as well as with a medicine ball (which makes it wayyy more difficult). Notice in the video I keep my knee angle relatively close to 90 degrees, and then fully extend my legs forward without touching the ground. Its important to remember to keep a flat back when performing the exercise.
Give it a try with 3 sets of 10-12 reps (per side). Once that gets too easy, try this. Extend the opposite arm/leg out, then with the arm/leg that are holding the ball up, squeeze them together as tight as possible, this will up the difficulty tremendously.