Bird Dogs – A Simple, Effective Beginner Exercise

Now I am not talking about the 1950's guy who is trying to romance other people's girlfriends. I'm also not talking about the dog that some hunters use either. What I am talking about is a great beginner exercise for those of you who are looking to improve your core strength and / or just starting out with exercise.

Speaking of this, it does not mean that this is an easy exercise by any means at all. What I mean is that this exercise does not require as much strength or stability as other exercises available to strengthen your core.

Regardless of your fitness level this exercise works you entire core from your abs, oblique's, hip flexors, lower back and even your glutes get in on the action. For any ladies looking to tighten their buttocks this is a great place to start.

The benefits that you can receive from this movement are improved co-ordination, muscle balance and posture. This means that everyday activities will become much easier.

One of the reasons I really like this exercise and recommend it is because it assists in lowering lower back pain or lower back injuries. I often slouched in my younger years and through my teens. I was regularly told to sit up straight and of course I rebelled. I do not suffer from any lower back issues, luckily, however I easily could have.

This exercise is great to reactivate and strengthen your lower back to release some tension and create better posture whether your current suffering form lower back issues or on the rehab path. However, always consult your doctor before performing any exercise first.

Technique Breakdown – Bird Dog – Abs
Start / Finish Position
Kneel on the floor with your hands firmly placed about shoulder width apart on the floor also.

Movement Phase
Brace your abdominals.
Lifting your right hand and left knee clear of the floor while balancing on the opposite hand and knee.
Point your right arm out straight in front and extend left leg to the rear.
Hold for a moment.
Return your hand and knee to the starting ground position.
Hold for a moment and repeat for the opposite hand and knee.

Breathing Directions
Breathe in during the downward motion.
Breathe out during the upward motion.

For best results use a 5 count for the extension and retraction of each repetition.

The form is a little harder than you think to get 100% right and a mistake that is made often is to turn out the hip of the raised leg because you do not quite have the strength needed to hold that leg up. This is a no, no. Keep your hips square and engage your core, then and only then will you see the just how great this exercise is.

Remember if your spending the time to exercise you should be making the most of it. Never sacrifice the proper form just to get out the reps you need. One less rep when all the previous nine reps have had perfect form is better than ten half assed versions any day of the week!

Source by Matt Goss