Done properly, this bodyweight move can build strength and improve posture.
As with press-ups, planks and glute bridges, they are now cropping up in a lot of home workout plans due to the fact that they are an amazing no-equipment-necessary exercise. As with all of these moves though, it’s crucial that a bird dog be done correctly for ultimate pay off.
Not only do they work your core, which includes your back, abdominals and hips, they can improve your posture and stability, according to Strong Women ambassador Alice Miller. “People think you should blast your core hard and fast, but with this move it’s about slowing down and feeling all of your muscles work.”
How to to a bird dog:
- Come into an all fours position, with your hands underneath your shoulders, knees underneath your hips. Keep a neutral spine, so you’re in tabletop position with your back.
- Engage the core by drawing that belly button into the spine
- Begin by lifting and extending the opposite arm and leg. You want to be reaching out as long as you can and really pull from those limbs. The foot can either be flexed or pointed.
- When you reach full extension, hold and squeeze the glutes and core.
- Return back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Alice suggests doing 20 alternating reps if the move, either at the beginning of your workout to activate the core muscles or at the end as a core finisher.
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Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).