Proper Breathing Technique utilizing Dead Bug Exercises

Regardless of your exercise experience or training age, many trainees are not aware on how to properly use diaphragmatic breathing, nor how to engage the deep core muscles, that are used for stabilization.
That is to say, you may ultimately be putting your low back into compromised positions during training and day to day activities. When training your core you should first have mastered your lumbo pelvic stability. Using the Dead Bug as part of your exercise routine is a key component.
in other words, starting with the Dead Bug and it’s variations is a great beginner exercise to teach proper breathing cues, neutral spine alignment and core engagement. However, this key exercise is NOT limited to only a newbie trainee. For instance, it can be used with several different progressions for intermediate and advanced trainees as well.
This bad ass exercise teaches you the fundamentals of feeling the deep core muscle “transverse abdominals”. It helps with stabilizing our trunk and reinforcing a neutral spine, especially when we are moving our arms and legs, which is important for daily movement and during exercise.
How to perform a Dead Bug:

  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees and hip to 90-degrees. Arms should be extended over your shoulders.
  2. Focus on your low back being fully intact with the floor (there should be no gap between your back if you slide your hand underneath), a slight posterior pelvic tilt will allow for a more neutral spine.
  3. As you take a full inhale through nose, feel a 360-degree extension of air filling your low back, obliques and abdomen
  4. As you exhale forcefully through the mouth draw your rib cage down, pull your belly button in and down keeping the tension and focus on the contraction, while lowering opposite leg and arm (video shows a variation with bands as an advancement, after you master the original).
  5. Focus on your low back remaining in contact with the floor at all times.
  6. If you start to feel your low back rising or arching that implies you went to low with your extremities and you should find a position/height that allows your back to remain in tact with the floor.

Start training and at times return to the fundamentals from the ground up to be resilient and pain free for years to come.


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