Although the age of workout apps and online programs has its benefits, a downside we as physical therapists have noticed is that individuals often are doing workout moves:

  • Incorrectly
  • Ineffectively
  • And with the potential to actually cause injury as opposed to preventing or healing injury

This is not exclusive to online programs as larger group-fitness classes can have the same issues. Often, there just isn’t enough time nor are there enough instructors to give a strong foundation in the fundamentals. It can also be difficult to decipher cues that make so much sense to instructors like “Engage your core!” but mean next to nothing concrete for the average worker-outer.

Today, we’d like to show you 5 awesome exercises that we use every day in pelvic health PT. We’ll show you the common mistakes we see as well as how to correct them.

If you are confused by any of our written cues, we totally get it! Send us a DM on Instagram, and we will send you back a video of exactly what we mean.

Additionally, remember to take these exercises slow and controlled. When we use these exercises to address issues such as back pain and leakage, we are often dealing with weakness, imbalance, injuries, and/or lack of muscle coordination. In order to get from a place of pain/dysfunction to wellness and optimized function, we need to teach the muscles how to coordinate properly and THEN we work on increasing strength. This type of control requires time and precision, so DON’T RUSH!

5 Common Exercises You Are Probably Doing Wrong (and how to correct them)

  1. Glute Bridges

Breath Pattern:

Exhale up

Inhale down

Common Exercises Incorrect Glute Bridge

Common Exercises Correct Glute Bridge

  1. Dead Bugs

Breath Pattern:

Exhale reach/extend

Inhale bring arm and leg back in to reset in tabletop

Common Exercises Incorrect Dead Bug

Common Exercises Correct Dead Bug

  1. Bird Dogs

Breath Pattern:

Exhale on the extension

Inhale bringing arms/legs back down to reset

Common Exercises Incorrect Bird Dog

Common Exercises Correct Bird Dog

  1. Banded Side-steps

Breath Pattern:

Exhale out

Inhale together*

(This is a suggestion, not a hard rule)

Common Exercises Incorrect Banded Side Stepping

Common Exercises Correct Banded Side Stepping

  1. Hip Abduction (with or without bands)

Breath Pattern:

Exhale abduct (or bring leg up)

Inhale bring back in to reset

Common Exercises

Did you spot any errors you have been making in your workouts?

Try these corrections and remember to send us a DM on Instagram if you need clarity/further explanation, and we’ll send you back a video!

Unsure when and why you’d use these exercises? Send us that via message to, and we’d be happy to share!

These are some of THE most common exercises we do in pelvic health PT, and for good reason. They are also not as easy as they appear. It can be rather advanced to do a proper deadbug with control and deep core engagement, which is why we always meet our patients where they’re at and create a custom plan tailored to their goals and needs.

If you are dealing with pain, injury or dysfunction and would like to learn a little bit more about how pelvic health physical therapy can help you, schedule your  FREE 10-minute consult call today ✨

Be empowered in education,

OrthoPelvic Physical Therapy