The dead bug is one of our favorite core exercises, but it is often done dead wrong with two main interrelated flaws:
- The exerciser’s ribs, right around the level of the solar plexus, will hike up in the air (a.k.a. “rib flare”).
- The exerciser’s low back will arch, creating a pocket between the spine and the ground below.
Enter the mouse trap.
- While setting up for a dead bug, place a strap or band underneath your low-back.
- Create pressure on the strap by flattening your low-back against it. (You will feel your lower abs contracting.)
- 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!