The Best 1-Minute Exercise For Faster Gains
Today I want to talk about the dead bug exercise. One of the best core exercises that just takes 1 minute to do yet, if done before your workouts and consistently over time, can not only help potentially speed up your gains but also help minimize your risk of injury and even potentially alleviate lower back pain. And that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you–how one of the best abs exercises (more specifically, the dead bug core exercise) helps with your core stability training. It does this by training a muscle group that most people just don’t train properly.
What exactly is this muscle? Well, it’s the transversus abdominis. This muscle actually sits behind your rectus abdominis and wraps horizontally around your lower abdomen to stabilize your spine almost like a weight belt. But the problem is that this muscle is weak as hell in a lot of people and is one of the most common causes behind strength plateaus in big lifts and even back pain. And the reason why this muscle commonly gets weak is because your typical “abs” exercises like crunches and bicycle kicks just don’t cut it when it comes to this muscle. This muscle is instead best strengthened by using isometric exercises that are built to enhance both muscular endurance and coordination.
What exactly does this look like though? It’s something called the dead bug exercise, which has been shown and used in several studies aiming to improve core stability since it seems to activate the transversus abdominus along with the other core muscles the best. This exercise is what’s termed as an “anti-extension” exercise. The dead bug helps teach you how to move at your extremities without compensating at your spine. Now some of you may have seen this exercise before or even tried it out, but I guarantee that you haven’t done it properly and in a way that actually strengthens the transversus abdominis to the greatest degree.
To start properly executing the dead bug core exercise, simply lay on your back with your knees bent like so. Then, take a deep breath into your belly, a deep breath out, and when your near maximal exhalation draw your belly button into your spine to brace your core and flatten your lower back onto the ground. You want to brace yourself as if someone were about to drop a ball on your stomach. Once you get this down, continue breathing as you maintain the bracing in your core, and then bring your arms straight up and knees bent to 90 degrees. Your lower back should still be flat against the ground and you should still be bracing.
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