Here is my video of the dead bug exercise using a Pilates fit ball. This pilates exercise is a great way to strengthen your abs and core without putting added strain on your lower back, which can be a concern with other common ab exercises.
As with all exercises, work at the level that works for you and only progress when you feel ready and able to up the challenge and difficulty.
How to do it:
- Lie flat on your back with your arms held out in front of you pointing to the ceiling. Then bring your legs up so your knees are bent at 90-degree angles, we call this the table top position. If this is too hard then leave one foot on the floor for stability and build up to both legs off the floor.
- Find that neutral spine, so remember there should be a little gap under your lumbar spine (lower back, draw your ribs towards your hips and engage your core by pulling your belly button to your spine.
- Place the ball between your knees (if you don’t have a ball don’t worry)
- Inhale to prepare and take your arms and legs away from the mid line of your body. Keep your legs bent and toe tap them to the floor.
- Inhale as you return to the starting position.
- To make this easier reduce the range of movement or try leaving your arms in the air and just move your legs
- To make it harder as I do in the video take your legs further away from your body increasing the range of movement
- Use opposite arm and leg to bring in muscular coordination
Watch out for:
- Keep the pelvis still and in neutral throughout the movement.
- Avoid using your neck or tensing your shoulders.
- Watch for doming of the abdominals as you lower your leg towards the ground. This is when the abs “pop up” and is a sign that they are weak and can lead to back pain. To prevent doming, reduce your range of movement and only send your leg towards the ground to the point where your abdominals can stay flat. Then bring the leg back.