Why it’s effective: “The core plays a big role in helping you move your limbs while stabilizing your spine—an incredibly important prerequisite for most strength-training exercises,” Dunham says. The deadbug protects your lower back mid-movement and keeps you from wasting any energy.
How to do it: Lie on your back, with your hips and knees bent to 90°. Raise both arms toward the ceiling. Pull your lower back to the floor to eliminate the gap. Start by pressing one leg out, and tapping the heel to the floor. “As you extend one leg, exhale as much as you can, keeping your lower back glued to the floor,” Dunham says. When you can’t exhale any more, pull your knee back to the starting position. Make this more difficult by holding weight in your hands, or by lowering opposite arm and leg.
When to do it: Add deadbug variations to your daily warmup, and really master the movement, he suggests. Perform 2-3 sets of four reps each side at the beginning of every workout.
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