Written by Simone Maglassis, CPT, ACSM, ACE
There's one thing I learned when I became a personal trainer: one exercise can be done many different ways.
Which means...more opportunities for you to train different muscle groups and never get bored!
The Bird Dog: 1 Exercise, 8 Different Ways
You can make each version more difficult by adding ankle weights, dumbells and/or looped resistance bands.
Follow the YouTube video above or read below :).
1. Basic Bird Dog
Why is it even called that?
Because it looks like a dog trained to find birds while hunting.
See below. Interesting huh?
This exercise helps with back pain, strengthens the glutes, the abs, the legs and even the arms. It is highly recommended to those who suffer from back pain.
Start on a cushioned mat in a table top position. Extend out the opposite arm and leg while keeping the hips stable. Return them back to the mat and repeat on the other side.
2. Elbow to Knee Bird Dog Crunch
In the table top position, once you extend the opposite arm and leg out, bring the elbow and knee in to connect then reach the leg and arm back out. Repeat for a set number of reps and then switch to the other side.
3. Modified Bird dog (no going on floor)
If you have bad knees or don't want to go on the floor, you can do this on the chair. Simply perform the same movement as the basic bird dog but instead with the hips lowered more into a plank position.
4. Criss Cross Bird Dog
Start in a table top position and extend the opposite leg and arm out, sweep them to the side in opposite directions, keeping the hips as stable as you can and return the arm and leg back to facing forward. Repeat a certain amount of reps and do the same thing on the other side.
This targets the abs in a whole new way!
5. Bird Dog Up & Down Pulse
Start in the basic bird dog position, lift up the opposite arm and leg and lift and lower in pulses, not doing the full range of motion and keeping the arm and leg lifted.
You'll feel the burn with this one!
6. Fire Hydrant & Reverse fly
I came up with the reverse fly added in and it makes a difference! In a table top position bend one knee at a 90 degree angle and the opposite arm at a 90 degree ankle. From there lift them up and return back to center and repeat for desired reps then do the same thing on the opposite side.
7. Donkey Kicks
In a table top position, lift up one leg and bend the knee at a 90 degree angle so the heel is facing the ceiling like you could stamp the ceiling with the bottom of your foot. Lift the leg up and down, keeping the knee bent.
Feel the burn in the buns!
8. Upside down bird dog AKA Dead Bug
Lie on your back with your arms pointing up straight and knees bent. Extend one leg forward as the opposite arm moves back behind you. Repeat on opposite side. You'll feel this one in the core.
If you feel it in your back, don't lower the legs as much and press the back into the floor.
Do you do the bird dog? What are you thoughts?
Simone is a certified in-home & virtual personal trainer, precision nutrition coach and ACE functional training specialist. Her mission is to help people on their fitness & health journey.
She also loves hair and skincare.
When she's not figure skating, reading or writing, Simone loves to relax and watch Netflix with her little family.
All information provided by Simone (Guishard) Maglassis and simonesfitfunlife.com is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information is to be taken as legal, medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information is at your own risk and hold Simone Maglassis and/or simonesfitfunlife.com harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.