A person doing a banded deadbug exercise for core stability.


Here I am continuing with the discussion of your core workouts. If you have not read it yet, go and read part 1 on how to train your core better.  

In the last article, I go into what the core is and how to train it in different planes of motion. I go into detail for how you can start and progress with your anti-extension core exercises. 

Today I will continue with the anti-extension core exercises in the supine position. The supine position is where you are laying on your back. 

With you laying on your back, it will make it easier to prevent movement of the low back. With this it will make it easier to make the core exercise more dynamic with the limbs. 

  1. Wall Push Deadbugs with Alternating Heel Tap 

Here is your first exercise for the supine position. You will need access to a wall for this exercise. 

Laying down on your back, position yourself a few inches away from the wall. Flatten your low back down to the floor and brace your core. Lift your legs into the air with your knees bent at 90 degrees. 

So your hip and knees will have a 90 degree angle. 

Place your hands on the wall behind you and push into the wall. As you push into the wall, slowly lower one bent leg till you tap your heel on the ground and bring it back to the starting position. 

As you lower the leg, the knee will still have a 90 degree angle. Only the hip is moving to lower the leg. 

You will alternate from one leg to the other till you complete the programmed reps. 

The harder you push into the wall, the harder it will be on the core. Your goal during the whole movement is to prevent movement with your low back and pelvis. 

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps and slowly progress to doing 10 reps on each side. 

  1. Wall Push Deadbugs with Alternating Leg Reach

Here is your progression from the last exercise. Making it harder by extending the leg fully, making it straight as you tap your heel. The longer lever will make it hard to keep the low back and pelvis from moving, so the core has to work harder. 

The set up is the same and you are still alternating from one leg to the next. 

I would still start with 3 sets of 5 reps for each side. If that feels good progress to more reps till you can do 10 on each leg without a breakdown in form. 

  1. Deadbug 

If you are familiar with what a dead bug is, that is that variation. The typical dead bug is moving both your arms and legs at the same time. 

Not only is this going to be more demanding on the core to prevent movement in the spine, it’s also a nice coordination movement. 

Coordination is defined as moving your body effectively with the task at hand. It is having a good connection to what your body is doing, and having complete control. 

With the dead bug exercise, the coordination skill is moving opposite limbs at the same time while the other limbs are completely still. 

It will look like this, laying down on your back you will have both arms up in the air. With your knees bent in a 90 degree angle, your legs will also be in the air. 

With your low back, flatten it to the ground and maintain this position, do not let the low back or hips move. 

This is a small detail, but details matter and is the difference between good and great. You will want to point your toes toward your shins. So when you straighten your leg out, think about pushing with your heel. 

Here is the tricky part, you’re going to push opposites out. So with your left arm and your right leg, slowly push your limbs away from you till your arm is overhead by your ear, and your leg is straight and hovering above the ground.

Key word is slow! 

These are not meant to be done quickly, the slower you move the better. 

As I mentioned earlier, the coordination is moving the opposite limbs at the same time, while keeping the non-moving limbs from moving. 

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps for each side, and see how that feels. Work on getting up to 10 reps on each side without struggling. 

  1. Stability Ball Deadbugs 

This deadbug variation actually makes it easy to coordinate your movements, but you can create more tension in the movement. Which is why I put in after the normal deadbugs. 

You will need a large stability ball for this exercise. The movement is the same, except the stability ball is being held in the air  by the non-moving limbs. With the non-moving limbs, you are not just holding the ball, you’re pushing into the ball with your knee and palms. 

This will create more tension in the body, which will make it feel harder on the core. It is like adding a form of resistance to the movement. 

The harder you push into the ball, the harder it will be to maintain that tension as you extend your arm and opposite leg, making the core work harder. 

Start with 3 sets of 5 and work your way up to being able to do 10 reps. 

  1. Banded Deadbugs 

Here is the last progression for your deadbugs. Just to be clear, there are many more variations, these are just a few ideas on how to progress. 

You’re going to need a moderate intensity super band and a stable anchor point for the band. 

With the band safely secured behind you,  you’re going to lay down on the ground, far enough to have tension in the band. 

Grab the band and lift the arms straight into the air. There should be tension in the band, wanting to pull your arms behind you. 

While holding the band in place, lift your legs up in the air with knees bent at 90 degrees and toes pointing toward your shins. Same form as the other variations. 

This variation, the coordination skill is lower, but the amount of tension acting on the body is greater. 

The arms are not moving, just the legs, your job is to prevent movement in the low back, pelvis, and now the arms. 

To add extra level of difficulty, slightly lift your head and shoulders off the ground. 

I do mean slightly, like an inch off the ground, and just hold that. 

I promise, this small change makes a huge difference on the difficulty level. 

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps and you can progress to doing 10 reps and changing the intensity of the band. 

I would start by increasing reps before changing bands. 

    There you go, your progressions for anti-extension core exercises in the supine position. As I mentioned earlier, there are many variations of deadbugs and core exercises done on the back. 

I just wanted to show you one way you can progress with these core exercises. 

If you have any questions, send me an email at caruthers.fitness21@gmail.com. I am happy to help. 

Stay tuned for part 3: I will go over anti-rotation core exercises.

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