How to use a foam roller to up your Dead Bug game

Lumbar stabilizing exercises are one of the most underrated exercises in any training program.  Yes, they’re not super exciting, but the rate of return on them is huge!

The Dead Bug in particular is one of those lumbar stabilizing exercises that is commonly used, but rarely performed correctly.  But there are some simple solutions using a foam roller that will automatically fire up the abs and get the most out of this exercise without the risk of doing it wrong.

Check out these 3 variations!

First up, you will place the foam roller between your knee and arm on the same side.  You want to create tension here and keep that constant the entire time.  As you maintain the position, slowly let the leg drop towards the ground only far enough so that the lower back never loses it’s position.

Next, you’re going to recruit some adductors.  Simply place the foam roller between your knees and squeeze.  As you do this, let the arms slowly drop above your head once again maintaining the position in your lower back.  By creating that tension with the foam roller, you will have a much greater sense of the stability being recruited with this exercise.

Lastly, you put the foam roller between your hands and squeeze it.  As the arms drop above your head, let one leg drop to the ground and alternate sides.  This one is definitely a little more challenging because of the combination of the upper and lower body, but by once again creating that tension with the foam roller, it is much more possible to maintain the amount of tension needed to successfully perform the exercise.

I love adding these in as a recovery set to a couple lifts, or even at the beginning of a workout to make sure everything is firing on all cylinders.  You can put it towards the end of a workout, but I always work on the premise that if you’re workout is doing what it’s supposed to, you don’t need to supplement with a bunch of extra ab work.  It’s much better to use these types of exercise at the beginning or throughout your work as a constant reminder of the correct lumbar position.

Happy bugging!


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