What Does Bird Dog Mean?
If you want to strengthen your core and back muscles, you might want to know what does bird dog mean. A bird dog is actually a bodyweight exercise that helps you stretch your whole body and increase the strength of lower back muscles.
The meaning of bird dog here is the position in which you sit while performing the exercise. You have to sit on all four limbs, just like a dog and then hold an imaginary egg under your chin just like a bird.
Bird Dog Exercise Muscles Worked
Your will to stick to bird dog workout will boost once you know the number of muscles this exercise can hit. Here is a list bird dog exercise muscles worked:
- Core muscles (rectus abdominis)
- Hips muscles (glutes)
- Back muscles (erector spinae and traps)
- Shoulder muscles (deltoids)
You should note here that most bird dog variations such as weighted bird dog and standing bird dog exercise also hit almost the same set of muscle groups.
How to Do Bird Dog Exercise: A Step-by-step Guide
When you see it in the context of the benefits of this exercise, practising the bird dog will seem worthy. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you do the exercise with ease:
- Start the exercise by getting on all four limbs on the floor. Sit in such a position that your hips should be exactly above your knees and your hands should be under the shoulder.
- Now, grip the floor and try to rotate your shoulder muscles outwards.
- Keep your ribs down and pelvis slightly tucked.
- Engage your core and create tension in your shoulders to prepare them for the exercise.
- Tuck your chin during the whole time you practice the exercise. Tuck it as if you are holding an egg under it.
- Every rep of the bird dog core exercise will start from this position.
- Maintain this alignment and stretch your leg and right arm.
- At this point, your hips and your shoulders should remain parallel to the ground.
- Keep your pelvis still and your left leg and right arm long.
- Pause for a few seconds and then return to the position where you started the exercise.
- Switch the sides of your hands and legs next time.
- You can do 2 to 3 reps of 6 to 10 reps of this exercise.
- Do not push your body if you can not maintain the right technique throughout all reps of the bird dog row exercise.
Benefits Of Bird Dog Exercise
After knowing the meaning of bird dog, now it is time to jump to its benefits. Although this exercise seems very simple, it offers various benefits. If you do it with the right technique, you are going to get the following benefits of bird dog exercise:
- Balances your entire body: Among other scientific studies-backed bird dog exercise benefits, one major benefit is that this exercise helps you in balancing your entire body. This happens because the exercise actually targets a large number of muscle groups in your body.
- Supports Good Posture: If you are someone who sits on the office chair for long hours, this one is going to be the most important benefit among all bird dog exercise benefits. Sitting on a chair can cause a hunch in your back. However, this exercise can target the muscles around your spine (known as the erector spinae) and support good posture.
- Reduces lower back pain: As we mentioned above, bird dog exercise can also help you in strengthening your back muscles. If you are recovering from a back injury or you have developed back pain for some reason, practising birddog exercise can help you recover faster and reduce the back pain.
Along with this, a few other bird dog pose benefits are:
- Unlike any weight loss exercise, the bird dog exercise has a low impact. This means that you can do it even if your body is not strong or flexible enough.
- You don’t need extra space or special equipment to practice the exercise and get all the bird dog pose benefits.
- Bird dog row exercise helps you stabilize your hamstrings, obliques, and piriformis.
How To Do Bird Dog Workout Safely And Avoid Injury
If you are doing workout at home by yourself, it becomes even more important to do every move with precision to ensure your safety and avoid injury. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while practising bird dog core exercise:
- Always take a rest of 24-48 hours before hitting the same muscle groups. It gives your muscle enough time to heal from the wear and tear caused by the exercise. In the meantime, you can try alternating bird dog exercises.
- If you have a medical condition or a disease that is affecting the joints and muscles involved in the bird dog exercise, you should first consult your doctor before starting the exercise. Otherwise, you might do more harm than good for your muscles.
- You can do alternating bird dog exercises or variations like the standing bird dog exercise according to your need. However, it is advised that you should first seek the guidance of a gym trainer before changing your workout routine.
- Pregnant ladies should avoid practising bird dog exercise since it engages the core muscles.
- Pay attention to how your muscles and joints are reacting to the birddog exercise. If you feel severe pain because of the exercise, consult your physician before resuming the exercise.
The exercise offers various benefits and is suitable for almost everyone. If you get bored, you can try bird dog variations. And here is the best part – doing the exercise only for a few minutes a day is enough to give you the results.
That being said, never forget to maintain alignment and pose while practising the exercise. After all, the key to getting the most out of bird dog exercise lies in maintaining the right technique and sticking to the workout.