Bird Dog Exercise: What is it and how does it help build core strength?

When it comes to working out your abs, not all exercises are created equal. One exercise that makes you a lot of money is the humble hound dog, which gets its name from the position a hound dog strikes when it has located a bird: nose forward, leg up. But how do you do the exercise and what are the benefits of adopting this canine position? Read on to learn more.

The bird dog may not sound particularly complicated, but it’s one of the best ab exercises out there when it comes to working out your core. Unlike ab exercises where you lie on your back, with a hunting dog you are on all fours, forcing your stabilizer muscles to work hard as you move into the pose.

How to make a bird dog

a illus of a woman doing the hunting dog exercise

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Let’s start by taking a look at how to make a bird dog with the correct shape:

  • Start on your hands and knees, in what’s known as a tabletop position: wrists directly in line with shoulders and knees in line with hips
  • From here, extend your left arm straight forward and your right leg behind you. Engage your core and focus on maintaining a flat back. You should be looking at the floor.
  • Hold the position briefly, then return to the starting position. This is a repeat.
  • Start with 10 reps, then repeat the movement with your other arm and leg. Do two more sets on each side.

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