Build A Resilient Spine: Challenge Your System

Matthew Ibrahim


Medford, Massachusetts, United States

Strength Training, Mobility & Recovery



Dead Bug With Breathing (Anti-Extension)

There’s nothing I love more than the dead bug exercise. Not only can it be used in training, but it can also be utilized as an assessment tool. Due to its versatility, we see this exercise in a lot of training programs across a wide spectrum of skill levels and training abilities.



Unfortunately, that popularity often leaves a wide-open door for poor form and technique. The key is to lock down your core stability and begin by moving one limb at a time. Once you’ve mastered that, it’s time to perform the dead bug exercise by alternating limb movements simultaneously.


Your ability to hone in on the breathing component is what increases difficulty. Slow everything down, almost as if to put it all in slow motion, and add your inhales and exhales to each specific movement of the dead bug exercise. Not only does breathing provide more control, it also directs more awareness to where your breath is going. We want air to fill up the lower abdomen and lower back. Check out this video of the 90/90 wall breathing.



Once you have that down, take the 90/90 wall breathing concept with you when you perform the dead bug with breathing exercise.


Do This:

  1. Lay on your back with your arms straight above your shoulders and your knees bent 90 degrees directly above your hips. Dorsiflex your ankles with your toes pointing up toward your hands.
  2. Inhale through your nose for 3 seconds while filling up your entire abdomen and lower back (full 360 degrees of expansion).
  3. Simultaneously extend your right arm and left leg while you exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds like you're trying to blow out a candle 3 feet in front of your face.
  4. Inhale through your nose for 3 seconds to bring your right arm and left leg back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the same sequence with your other contralateral extremities. That's 1 rep per side.
  6. Complete 12 reps per side for 1 set.
  7. Perform a total of 3 sets per side.



Continue for Video Demonstration of the Tall Kneeling Pallof Press


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