Deadbugs: The Core Exercise You Should Be Doing

By now, many people are well aware crunches and sit-ups aren't the best exercises for building a strong core. But haven't you had enough of those planks, too?

The traditional plank is an effective exercise for developing core strength, but there are plenty of other movements that target the same area. According to fitness expert Tony Gentilcore, a certified personal trainer and co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance, if you aren't familiar with deadbugs yet, it's time to add them to your routine.

"The deadbug is a woefully underappreciated exercise, mostly because it looks so simple and innocuous," says Gentilcore, who also runs his own fitness site, "When performed correctly, it helps strengthen the anterior core muscles, specifically the rectus abdominus, or 6-pack muscles, and the obliques."

Added Gentilcore: "The deadbug helps train core stability, which is the main function of our core in general."

More: 5 Plank Variations to Improve Your Core

How to Do It

To perform the exercise, begin by lying on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Straighten your arms directly above your shoulders.

"Your lower back must stay flush against the floor the entire time," Gentilcore says. "I also like to cue people to flatten out their back, or bring their belt buckle towards their chin."

The exercise is performed in two parts. First, simultaneously straighten your right arm and left leg. Once both limbs are fully extended, pause for a count. Return to the starting position. 

Next, repeat the movement with your left arm and right leg.

More: 10 Core Workouts You Probably Haven't Tried Yet

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