The Bird Dog Exercise
And Its Variations

These bird dog exercise instructions and videos will help strengthen your core muscles.

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Why do we need a strong core (abs, back and hips)? Simply put, to protect our spine and avoid back pain.

Actually the bird dog is even more effective because it's a whole body exercise. Your arms and legs come into play throughout. But the focus always remains on your core.

The key word is balance. The best way to improve performance is to have a strong core. But the best way to stay injury free, is to have a balanced core.

So remember, the bird dog and other core exercises are aimed towards stabilising your spine and preventing back injuries.

But if you want 6-pack abs, click here for fat burning exercises. You'll find your 6-pack with those.

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OK enough about 6-pack abs, let's return to keeping your back free from injury..

The Bird Dog Exercise

This is best done on an exercise mat:

  • Get on your hands and knees (hands directly below your shoulders, knees directly below your hips).
  • Keep your back straight (flat) throughout the exercise.
  • Slowly lift up your right leg backwards, and your left arm forwards (so they are parallel to the floor).
  • Hold for 5 seconds and relax.
  • Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
  • Repeat the whole process 5 times.
  • Progress by holding it for longer each time, aim for 10 seconds.

Tips: You'll feel the pressure mainly in your lower back and bottom. Remember to focus on your core and keep balanced by working your abs too. Don't let your hips tilt to one side whilst moving your legs. Keep breathing steadily, never hold your breath.

Exercise Pictures

Bird Dog Exercise Variation

Advanced Half Bird-Dog

This exercise is harder than the one above. It will show you how much your core muscles are involved, even when your arms and legs are doing most the work.

  • Get into the push-up position (arms straight), with a straight line from your shoulders to ankles.
  • Keep focused on your core muscles throughout.
  • Slightly lift your right arm for 2 seconds (weight is on your left arm and both feet), and relax.
  • Then slightly lift your left foot for 2 seconds (weight is on your right foot and both arms), and relax.
  • Repeat with your left arm and then right foot.
  • Progress by lifting each arm and leg higher and for longer, aim for 5 seconds each.

Tips: You'll feel the pressure mainly in your arms and legs. As you develop core strength, you'll find it easier to hold this exercise for longer, even though your arms and legs are taking most the weight. Keep breathing steadily, and never hold your breath.

Click here for 5 tips to lose that stubborn belly fat.

Bird Dog Exercise Videos

Enjoy doing these exercises! Check out the following videos, they'll help you get that technique right:

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