Bird Dog
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ImageSubmitted by: Justin Leonard
Last updated: 4/18/2014

The bird dog exercise can be used to work the deeper muscles of the lumbar spine (e.g. multifidus). In addition to the lower back muscles, the bird dog exercise also works the core, glutes, and shoulders. During this exercise, the load on the spine is extremely low, making it a safe exercise. The bird dog might be somewhat difficult for beginners, as it requires an intermediate level of muscle control and balance. Instructions for this exercise are listed below:

Kneel down on a workout mat. Get on all fours. Contract your abdominal muscles and hold the position. Your abs will need to be tight at all times. As you perform this exercise, keep your head down to ensure proper spinal alignment. The next two movements must take place simultaneously: First, extend one arm parallel to the floor. The arm should be kept close to your ear as you extend it. Second, extend the leg on the opposite side of the body. It too should be parallel to the floor. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat the movement on the opposite arm and leg.
Step 1
Kneel down on a workout mat. Get on all fours. Tighten abs.
Step 2
Lift one arm straight forward near ears. Extend opposing leg. Keep head down. Hold position 15 to 30 seconds.
Step 3
Repeat the movement on opposite side.
Exercise Details
Back Exercises ( view all )
Difficulty Level MEDIUM
The bird dog is a medium difficulty exercise.
Target Muscle
Lower Back (multifidus)
Related Equipment
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