how to do bird dog workout

What Is A Bird Dog Exercise?

The bird dog exercise is a core-strength exercise. Your lower back, diaphragm, abdominal wall, and pelvis surround your core. Â.

Another name for this exercise is “quadruped alternating arm and leg.”

The strengthening and endurance exercise known as “bird dog” helps to maintain the stability of your spine. Although it’s not necessary, using an exercise mat could help cushion your knees.

What Muscles Does a Bird Dog Exercise Work?

Your core muscles are among the ones used in a bird dog exercise. These are the muscles found in your buttocks, hips, back, and abdomen.

Gluteal muscles (glutes). These muscles are found in the region of your hips and buttocks. They consist of:

  • Gluteus maximus. This is the main muscle for hip extension. This muscle pushes your leg backwards when you walk.
  • Gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. These muscles help to control your leg movement (hip adduction).  .

Your lower body may be out of alignment if your glutes are weak. This could result in overusing your quadriceps and hamstrings, which could lead to injuries like runner’s knee. Weak glutes may also result in lower back pain.

Abdominal muscles. These muscles aid in movement, support your trunk, and control the pressure inside your abdomen. Â.

There are four main abdominal muscle groups:

  • Transversus abdominis. Your trunk is stabilized and internal abdominal pressure is maintained by this deepest layer of muscle.
  • Rectus abdominis. This is situated between your pubic bone and your ribs at the front of your pelvis.
  • External oblique muscles. These muscles are situated on both sides of the abdominis rectus. They allow your trunk to twist.
  • Internal oblique muscles. These are located just inside your hip bones. Â They function in the opposite direction as your external oblique muscles. Â .

Back muscles. Your back muscles facilitate movement and support your spine and trunk. There are several groups of back muscles:

  • Your skin’s surface is home to your back muscles, also known as extrinsic or superficial muscles. These include your latissimus dorsi (lats), rhomboids, and levator scapulae.
  • Intermediate muscles, which sit between your shoulder blades. This includes your serratus posterior inferior and serratus posterior superior. Â .
  • Intrinsic muscles. These muscles are located deep under your skin and include the erector spinae group and transversospinalis group.

Benefits of Bird Dog Exercise

Builds a strong core. Your spine’s supporting muscles and ligaments may deteriorate with age or trauma. This makes movements like lifting, bending, and twisting difficult. Â.

On the other hand, a strong core:

  • Protects your spine
  • Improves balance, posture, and stability
  • Enhances your movement
  • Keeps your back healthy

Helps with lower back pain. Approximately 60% to 80% of adults in the United States experience lower back pain on a regular basis. A weak core is one of the primary causes of lower back pain.

Engaging your abs and stabilizing your lower back while moving your limbs is what the bird dog exercise teaches your body to do.


Are bird dogs worth it exercise?

There are tons of benefits to the bird-dog exercise, including the total body and core strengthening that we mentioned, as well as shoulder mobility work, balance, and coordination.

How do you count bird dog exercise?

Aim to complete five reps on each side or 10 reps total. Add additional sets of 10 exercises for a maximum of three sets of 10. As a variation, you can do a set of 10 bird dogs on one side, then switch to the other side.