Exercise of the Week: Cable Assisted Deadbug

One of my most popular blogs to date has been, 10 Deadbug Variations: Why, Coaching Cues, and Program Considerations, and for good reasons:

  • Deadbugs are an awesome core exercise when done properly.
  • Deadbugs teach proper control of the abdominals.
  • Deadbugs are an amazing exercise to help teach rib positioning in a regressed position allowing for harder positions to be easier to learn and accomplish.
  • Deadbugs can be modified for all fitness levels, with few concerns about current pain situations.

After reviewing the video views on the 10 different variations, the Cable Assisted Deadbug received a mind boggling amount of views. Even after changing my website layout this video remained my highest hit for views. I figured it was time to expand upon my favorite anti-extension core stability exercise.


Cable Assisted Deadbug:

In the above variation, we can easily make changes as well as dig into considerations for this movement.

Cues and Tips:

  • Lower back should be flat the entire time.  Once you lose position and can’t regain, the movement is over.
  • Ribs need to stay down.  Think about pulling your ribs to the floor and focus on this upon the exhale.
  • Keep pushing against the bar. This will ensure that you are creating ample tension through lat and shoulders.

Changing Difficulty of the Movement:

Making the Movement Easier:

  • Decrease Load
  • Bend Your Elbows
  • Bend Your Knees w/ Heels Touching Sooner
  • Don’t Move Your Legs, Remain Stationary

Modifying the movement down is simple allowing anyone who is having trouble for pain reasons or just properly maintaining proper tension and position to execute this core strengthener. By keeping the body under tension, more advanced movements like the squat or deadlift can be progressed to.

Once you are able to progress this movement far enough where the only way it is more difficult is by increasing more load to the bar, this is the time in which we want to possibly determine a couple more strategies to make this movement more challenging.

Change From the Bar to Handles

In the original video I used a straight/bicep curl bar which allows each hand its own weight stack to control. Swapping out for handles increases the difficulty though instability.

Two-Handles Cable Assisted Deadbug

Cues and Tips:

  • Follow the above regression and progression.
  • Follow the above tips and cues.
  • An increase in shoulder stability is required, so focus on creating lat tension by squeezing your arm-pits as well.

Two-Handles w/ Arm Movement Cable Assisted Deadbug

Cues and Tips:

  • Focus on opposite limb control. Ensure that only the opposite arm and leg are moving with zero movement of other appendages.
  • Avoid counterbalancing. The core should me the main stabilizer of this movement, leave excessive limb motion out of the equation.

One-Arm Same-Side Cable Assisted Deadbug

Cues and Tips:

  • Uneven load distribution increases the difficulty and challenges your core in a different manner.
  • See above tips and cues.

One-Arm Opposite-Side Cable Assisted Deadbug

Cues and Tips:

  • Uneven external load distribution from opposite side.
  • See above tips and cues.

Want More Exercises for a Stronger Core & More Resilient Body?

Sign-up for the LaVack Fitness Insider Community and more exercises will be coming your way next week!

Can’t wait to have you as part of the community.


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