The bird dog exercise is a challenging move that works your core, obliques and back muscles. It also makes you feel like you’re trying to crawl with your hands and knees at the same time. But don’t let the difficulty of this exercise frighten you away from trying it! The benefits are worth it. Performing the bird dog on its own as a workout or alongside other exercises helps strengthen muscles, reduce back pain and prevent injury. You can even do these at home with minimal equipment! Here’s how to perform the bird dog exercise for best results:
How to Do the Bird Dog Exercise
The bird dog exercise is really two exercises in one. First, you will do the plank exercise on one side and then switch to the other. You will then perform the side plank on another set of muscles. In order to do the bird dog exercise, you will start in a push-up position on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. This will ensure a proper alignment for the rest of the exercise. After that, you will raise your right arm and left leg so that both limbs are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds. Then, bring your arm and leg back down to the floor. Repeat this sequence on the other side of your body by raising your left arm and right leg. Make sure to keep your hips and torso in a straight line the entire time.
Step 1: Start on your hands and knees.
The starting position for this exercise is on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Keep your gaze fixed on the ground in front of you to avoid straining your neck muscles. When you’re in this position, your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Your knees and the tops of your feet should also be in contact with the floor. When you perform this exercise on its own, you should start with 10 seconds on each side. When added to another exercise, you should start with 20 seconds on each side.
Step 2: Raise your right arm and left leg.
Once you’ve assumed the starting position, raise your right arm and left leg. Ensure your hips don’t rotate or sway while you do this. Hold this position for 20 seconds.
Step 3: Lower your arm and leg.
After 20 seconds, lower your arm and leg. Rest for 10 seconds and then switch sides. Raise your left arm and right leg and hold this position for another 20 seconds.
Step 4: Raise your left arm and right leg.
Once you’ve completed the first two sides, you’ll now perform the second half of the exercise. This time, you’ll raise your left arm and right leg. Hold this position for 20 seconds.
Step 5: Lower your arm and leg.
After 20 seconds, lower your arm and leg. Rest for 10 seconds and then switch sides.