Bird-Dog – The Ultimate Core’s Strength Booster

Core muscles constitute one of the most important groups of muscles in your body. You can maintain the balance and erect posture due to the strong core. Because we encounter most of the stresses in our surroundings, our balance and the posture may get challenged. Therefore, it also leaves the negative impact on your core stability. Bird-Dog pose can fix the weak core’s strength!!! With the help of the bird-Dog pose, you can prevent the chances of the faulty posture and low back pain in the future.

Not only, the Bird-Dog pose is designed for improving the functional capacity of the core muscles, in fact, it can also strengthen your upper back, neck and of course, lower back. Being the gravity-assisted position, the Bird-Dog pose will aid in boosting your overall strength.

Didn’t try the Bird-Dog Pose yet? Well, then, you’re missing the main staple of the efficient exercise regimen. Do try the basic Bird-Dog pose and if you want to add up some spice, then don’t forget to try the modified versions of it.

Bird-Dog_exercise

Technique

Well, this pose is not complicated and complex one, in fact, few components are needed to perform the Bird-Dog pose in an appropriate way. So, do you want to know all of those important components? Don’t waste your time anymore and start reading the below-listed-elements now!

  1. Get into the prone position
  2. Place your hands under shoulder with extended elbows. Your fingers should be pointed forward with palms rested on the floor.
  3. flex your knees and keep them under your hips
  4. Keep your spine straight enough. Don’t arch up or down.
  5. Keep your abdominal muscles tucked in
  6. Lengthen the left leg and right arm simultaneously
  7. Make sure that you’re not over-lifting the leg and arm. You should maintain the neutral stance.
  8. Lift your leg up to the hip’s height.
  9. Make sure that your arm is lifted to the shoulder level
  10. Keep your shoulder parallel to the floor
  11. Look straight, so that, your neck can maintain the alignment in correspondence to the other parts of the body.
  12. Hold this upward phase for about 5 seconds and then come back to the starting position.
  13. Don’t stop breathing. Inhale and exhale simultaneously.
  14. Repeat this exercise for about 10 times more on both sides.

Bird-dog-exercise

Muscles involved

The back extensors, mainly, erector spinae are challenged through the Bird-Dog pose. Somehow, rectus abdominis (ab muscles) and glutes (butt muscles) work while performing the Bird-Dog Pose. However, deltoids (shoulder muscles), obliques and hamstrings act synergistically during this pose.

Overall, your large muscles of the body get some downward pull, thus, your muscles get stronger to the optimal level. So, while trying the Bird-Dog Pose, you should try to squeeze most of your muscles so that the results would be amplified

Common mistakes

Any exercise is effective when it is executed in a proper way. When the exercise is full of errors, then, all your efforts will be in vain. Similarly, the level of the effectiveness of the bird-dog pose can be raised, if you keep all the below-listed factors in your mind.

  1. Don’t arch up or down excessively while performing this exercise. Your spine should be in neutral position, because, if your spine isn’t in the standard position, it may cause pain in lower back rather than easing the pain or discomfort.
  2. Don’t close your shoulder blades tightly against the ribcage. Due to the excessive internal rotation of the shoulders and the closure of the shoulder blades, the exercise may become very difficult to be performed. Keep yourself relaxed and keep your hands width apart, so that, your shoulders should lie against the ribcage smoothly.
  3. Don’t excessively widen your knees. If you keep knees further away too much, it’ll make the balance and stability harder. Also, the benefits of the bird-dog pose will be reduced as well.
  4. Don’t extend your toes. Keep them in the flexion pose in such a way that the weight distribution should be equal and uninterrupted.
  5. Don’t keep your neck in hyperextension or in hyperflexion. Because, inappropriate neck positioning during the exercise lead to the forward neck posture, it is vital to secure your neck’s strength and function by keeping it in a neutral position.
  6. Neither over-lifts your butt toward the ceiling or even the floor. If you’re doing this, you’re transferring most of your weight on the knees, preventing the hip’s main movement.
  7. Don’t break the continuity of the breathing. Continuous breathing enhances the blood circulation throughout the body. Hence, it’s important that you should breathe rhythmically.

When to avoid bird-dog?

If you’re experiencing the severe shoulder pain or scapular winging, then, you should not think about to perform the Bid-Dog pose. Because, the Bird-Dog pose needs the shoulder blade protraction, it can aggravate your pain intensity. However, if you’ve had a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the past, then, don’t keep your wrist in over-extension for prolong period.

Benefits

By performing the Bird-Dog exercise on a regular basis, your core muscles will be strengthened and you would get the toned and trimmed abs. Also, this exercise can also provide the shape to the shoulder muscles. However, if you haven’t included this exercise in your leg’s workout routine, include the Bird-Dog exercise to get the sexy and sculpted legs. Nevertheless, your endurance and exercise tolerance rank will also be increased through this pose. It offers the cardiovascular effect as well.

Variations

Bird-dog crunch

All you need to do is to attain the standard Bird-Dog Pose but, instead of coming back to the starting position, crunch your left leg with a right arm underneath your torso. If you have the tightened hip or lower back muscles, you may find this version very, very difficult to be performed. However, this version can improve the flexibility of the glutes and the lower back muscles, if done on a regular basis.

Bird-dog-exercise-crunch

Bird-dog on exercise ball

Another very effective version of the Bird-Dog pose is one an exercise ball. You will need the exercise ball over here to perform this progression. Get onto the exercise ball and achieve the Bird-Dog pose, but extend your knees rather than curling them. Isn’t it challenging? Don’t forget to put your hips over the exercise ball. Make sure that your hands and feet are not close enough to the exercise ball, because, if you keep your hands and feet too close to the ball, it might increase the degree of difficulty and you may end up without performing this pose. Hence, you should maintain the neutral alignment by keeping your hands and feet away from the exercise ball.

Bird-Dog_exercise_ball

Superman plank

To do the push up is one of the hardest exercises that you would have experienced to, but, when you blend the push up with the Bird-Dog pose, it increases your endurance. Achieve the standard Bird-Dog pose but keep your knees straightened. Afterward, lift your right arm and left leg in the air and just literally hold for a few seconds. Repeat the same procedure on the other side as well. Click here to read more about superman plank.

superman_plank_pose

Single side

Though, it seems much easier version of the Bird-Dog pose than any other modification, but, actually, it’s one of the most difficult variations that you could achieve. This version is extremely beneficial for strengthening the weak core muscles. All the steps of the standard Bird-Dog pose will remain same but, instead of lifting the opposite arm and leg, lift up the arm and leg of the same side. Of course, your balancing power will be enhanced when you complete this exercise. Just try to hold the pose for several seconds, so that the muscles get empowered ultimately.

On the toes

Another great variation to shake your core muscles is Bird-Dog on the toes. Start in the regular Bird-Dog position and lift your knees for a few inches off the floor. Now we’re gonna extend your left arm forward and right leg backward at the same time.  Hold for a couple sec and bring back to neutral position. Repeat for 30 seconds and change side. Keep your torso and hips stable while moving opposite arm, opposite leg.

So, the Bird-Dog Exercise is not only related to the certain group of muscles, in fact, your tiniest muscles get activated and involved when you’re performing the Bird-Dog pose. Hence, whenever, you get onto the exercise mat, don’t forget to perform the Bird-Dog pose.

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