The 3 Pillars of Health: Fitness, Food, Sleep

Bird Dog


The Bird Dog is a simple and easy exercise even for beginners.

Though the basic Bird Dog is easy, there are more advanced versions that make this a good exercise for everyone.

You can do this exercise any time of the day or night without disturbing your neighbors or any sleeping kids. There’s no pounding or banging, so you’ll never wake anyone up.

The Bird Dog is a core exercise. It will increase your ab and lower back strength.

This exercise is used by therapists to help patients overcome lower back pain.

How to do the basic Bird Dog:

  • Kneel on a mat.
  • Your hands should be under your shoulders.
  • Your knees should be under your hips.
  • Stretch out your right arm and left leg at the same time.
  • Hold this position for 3 – 5 seconds.
  • Bring your arm and leg back to the starting position.
  • Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
  • Keep your back flat and don’t rotate your pelvis.

Bird Dog Video 1

This video shows the basic bird dog. Note the emphasis on how to hold your back while doing the movement.

Bird Dog Video 2

This video demonstrates the basic bird dog and a more advanced version.

Here is how personal trainer Amanada Edell explains this movement:

So I’m going to demonstrate how to do a bird dog for you. You’re going to start out in a quadriped position which is basically what you see here. Your hands are under your shoulders, your knees are under your hips. You’re going to take one leg out high behind you. You’re going to point your toe. Abd you’re going to reach your opposite arm out in front of you and you’re going to reach. You have a couple options here. You could stay here if this is challenging enough.

If you want more of a challenge you’re going to take your elbow into your knee and extend it long. So I like to go about five to fifteen reps on each side. You’re going to take your opposite leg extend it high behind you, point your toe. Reach out forward with your opposite arm and take it in towards your belly button and extend. It’s a great exercise for your abs and also a great tool to use as a warm-up. And that’s how you do a bird dog.

Bird Dog Video 3

This video shows the basic bird dog and some advanced variations.

Your initial goal should be to do a regular bird dog easily. Only after you feel like you’ve mastered the movement should you attempt any of the advanced variations.