Get a crazy-strong core with a mouse trap

The dead bug is one of our favorite core exercises, but it is often done dead wrong with two main interrelated flaws:

  1. The exerciser’s ribs, right around the level of the solar plexus, will hike up in the air (a.k.a. “rib flare”).
  2. The exerciser’s low back will arch, creating a pocket between the spine and the ground below.

Enter the mouse trap.

  1. While setting up for a dead bug, place a strap or band underneath your low-back.
  2. Create pressure on the strap by flattening your low-back against it. (You will feel your lower abs contracting.)
  3. Have a friend lightly pull on the strap/band as you perform each rep to make sure you’re maintaining this pressure…which also means that you are maintaining a nice neutral spine.

We call this the “mousetrap” because we want the low-back, the “trap,” to catch and hold the strap/band, the “mouse.”

This a great core control strategy but a terrible pest control one!


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