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How to Do the Bird Dog Exercise

An Exercise for the Abs and Butt

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Updated May 28, 2014

Bird Dog Exercise (c) TrainerClipArt

The Bird Dog

Art (c) Trainer ClipArt

The Bird Dog may have been a dance craze at one time, but now it's main claim to fame is that it's a somewhat advanced bodyweight floor exercise for strengthening the "posterior core" in general -- the muscular region that includes the abdominals, lower back, butt and thighs.

It's not that difficult to do after a little practice to get the balance right. Here's how it's done.

  1. Kneel on the floor with hands firmly placed about shoulder width apart.
  2. Brace the abdominals, and at first, practice lifting one hand and the opposite knee just clear of the floor while balancing on the other hand and knee. Half an inch will do until you get the idea of it.
  3. When you're ready to do the complete exercise, point the arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg to the rear (see diagram).
  4. Hold for 10 seconds then return to hands and knees on ground position.
  5. Starting out, try 5 repeats on alternate hands and knees -- 10 repetitions in all. Add additional sets of 10 exercises up to 3 sets of 10.

If you need to know more about weight training practices and principles, read this introductory article.

You can also watch a video of the Bird Dog.

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