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When we think of trying to get our core stronger and more defined, we want to lie on our backs and do crunches until our spine breaks. We’re here to tell you there is a much safer and more effective way of challenging your core. Insert dead bugs. The name sounds gross, right?

Dead bugs are a staple in our exercise programs. The reason these are such a great alternative to traditional crunches is because this exercise truly trains your core muscles, unlike crunches. Crunches can cause a significant amount of strain on the back because you’re fighting your anatomy. You’re curling the spine and shortening your muscles when you should be straightening and elongating your core for proper training. Dead bugs make you use your entire core and also tell you when you are not. That way it’s easy to self-correct when doing these on your own. How to dead bug: 1. Begin by lying on your back with your legs and arms up, your knees bent and hands facing the ceiling. 2. Next, push your low back into the ground. This will help ensure you’re doing them correctly. If your low back begins to arch, you’re losing tension. Make sure that your low back is glued to the ground so that a Volkswagen beetle cannot drive underneath your low back. 3. Reach your right arm back, and at the same time lengthen your left leg. Remember to keep the low back glued to the ground. 4. Return to the start and repeat. To modify this exercise, keep the arms facing the ceiling and tap your heel to the ground. (ADD VIDEO) The next time you’re going to train your core, give dead bugs a try!

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