The Bird Dog – Core Exercise Par Excellence
The Bird Dog Exercise should be a staple daily corrective exercise in just about everyone’s routine. Fantastic for core strength and stability, and a regular go to for prevention and treatment of low back pain and dysfunction. It is also very simple, can be done just about anywhere, and is easy to progress and regress to fit just about any fitness level.
The basic movement starts on the floor on your hands and knees with hands under shoulders and knees under the hips. Keep your back straight with head, neck, shoulders, back and hips in a straight line (to really get a feel for this have someone hold a dowel or broom or mop handle across your back so that the back of your head, top of shoulders, back and hips are all touching it).
Draw your belly button in to activate and stabilize your core. As you hold lift your right arm and left leg emphasizing moving from the shoulder and hip – not the knee and elbow! Lift smoothly and pause when the arm and leg are parallel with the floor as you tighten your left glute and right shoulder girdle and pay attention to the cross muscle activation that occurs without letting your back arch!
Slowly bring your arm and leg back down and repeat on the other side. Do 10 – 20 repetitions on each side focusing on smooth movement with a clear pause at the top of the movement. For a great tutorial with progressions as you get the hang of it click here: http://www.stack.com/a/benefits-of-the-bird-dog-exercise-and-8-challenging-variations