how to do the bird dog exercise

How to Do the Bird Dog

●Start in a quadruped position (on all fours). Your wrists should be stacked directly beneath your shoulders. To provide yourself with a large work surface, align your knees with your wrists.

●Aim directly down at the ground (you’ll keep doing this the entire movement). This allows you to maintain a neutral spine.

●To create tension, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Then, to set your ribs, squeeze your abs. Your spine should be straight, not rounded.

●With one arm extended straight out and parallel to your body, Squeeze your glutes simultaneously to raise the opposing leg. At the top, pause for a count while keeping your hips and shoulders taut to prevent them from dropping. Lower your limbs down under control.

●Repeat on the movement with the opposite arm and leg.

Use these suggestions from Samuel to delve further into the specifics of the practice.

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.


What muscles do bird dog work?

The bird dog is a bodyweight exercise that strengthens the core—more specifically, the abdominal muscles, lower back, butt, and thighs. Since it requires no equipment other than a mat, it can easily be integrated into almost any core strength training routine.