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Bird Dog Exercise – How to Build a Strong Core


Do you want to have a strong core? If your answer is yes, focus on the bird dog exercise to strengthen your body. Also, this includes the bird dog, a core strengthening exercise focusing on the abdominal area and the back muscles.

We call this exercise the bird dog because it resembles a bird dog pointing at its prey when you perform it correctly. Also, some people call the activity quadruped.

The fitness benefits of bird dog exercise

A solid core is essential, as it provides a firm foundation for doing other workouts. It also helps reduce back pain and improve your range of motion. The focus of this workout is to build your stability and not to help you burn calories.

Once you have mastered this workout, it will help you do cardiovascular activities, such as running, climbing, and swimming, more efficiently and effectively. The bird dog exercise also helps improve the range of motion of your arms and legs, as it supports the movement of your limbs.

How to do the bird dog exercise

You do this workout when you are on all fours, extending one arm out front and the opposite leg straight back. You then return to the center and repeat on the opposite arm and leg.

Again, it would be best to do it slowly and with precision. Also, try to be steady. The best way to achieve this is to imagine balancing a glass of water on your back while doing the workout.

People of all fitness levels can do this workout, from beginners to advanced levels.

  • What You Need
  • A stiff, flat surface
  • A mat

The good thing about this workout is that you do not need any equipment. You can easily do it even with little room. You can do it alone or before starting your training.

Doing this workout at the beginning of your exercises helps to wampum your muscles for the other activities you will do later. It can be an incorrect exercise when you do not properly warm your muscles. Also, this leads to injury.

You can do the bird dog exercise every day.

Step 1 – Get in the Start Position

Get on all fours. Your hands should go directly under your shoulders. Your knees should not be wider than your hips. Keep your spine as straight as you can.

Step 2- Lift Your Right Arm and Left Leg

While exhaling, extend your right arm straight in front of you and your left leg straight back. Next, return your arm and leg to starting position.

Then switch to the alternate side, extend your left arm out directly in front of you and kick back your right leg. Finally, return to the start position to complete one rep.

You can do three sets and ten reps and focus on steadying and controlling your limbs when starting.

Then, as you improve and build your endurance, focus on holding your limbs out for three seconds during each rep. Do this for 30 seconds.

Incorrect form for the bird dog exercise

An incorrect way of doing these workouts is by letting your back sag and your shoulders dip. Also, do not let your hips move.

Your torso should be still and stable as you do the bird dog exercise, even if this means that you do not lift your arms and legs too far off the ground. It is better to do a couple of reps correctly than many reps incorrectly.

Bird Dog Exercise

Substitute exercises for the bird dog

Between each rep, you can do fat cow. Round and arch your back alternately while rotating your hips. Then get into the child’s pose by sitting your hips back and extending your arms in front of you. You can also rest your hands along your sides to stretch the muscles you have just worked out.

Different bird dog exercises

There are different modifications to this exercise. These can be substitute exercises for people who find the original bird dog too tricky.

Donkey kicks

Keep your hands in place for this workout while only moving one leg at a time. First, kick back one leg straight out, slowly but steadily. Then bring back your leg to the start position. Then alternate to the other leg.

Arms only bird dog exercise

You will keep your legs in their original position for this changed workout when you are on all fours and only move your arms. Start by extending one arm in front of you, parallel to the floor.

Then return to the start position and then extend out the alternate hand. If the workout is too easy for you, consider holding a pair of one-pound dumbbells as you workout.

To avoid injuries,

  • use correct form
  • slowly perform movements
  • Please don’t overdo it
  • listen to your body
  • stop if you feel pain

Tips on how to perform the bird dog exercise correctly

You can start with the arms-only workout or the donkey kicks until you master them before moving on to the arm and leg combination. You can do this for a couple of weeks first. Also, this will enable you to work at the strength level you are comfortable with.

Combine workouts with proper nutrition and rest to see noticeable results. Consider resting for 1-2 days between workouts sessions. Thus, this allows your muscles sufficient time to recover.

The last word on how to perform the bird dog exercise correctly

The bird dog exercise is excellent for building strength in your lower back. You can do it if you have experienced back injuries or surgery. It builds muscles that support your stability and your spine.

You can exercise the bird dog anywhere, as you need little space. You also do not need any special equipment. Physical therapists and athlete trainers often recommend and use this workout.


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