I want to build upon our core strengthening exercises. These are vital in helping to sustain a strong back. Some of you may be familiar with this exercise and some may not but it is one that is great to incorporate into any fitness routine. The Bird Dog.
This is an exercise for beginners as well as advanced athletes. It's one that works the Lower Back Muscles, Rectus Abdominus and Glutes . The Deltoids, Obliques and Hamstrings are called the "Synergist Muscles" and they help with Kinesthetic (pertaining to motion) awareness. These exercises may seem easy at first glance but they are definitely a balance challenger. Rest assured you will get the hang of it and soon be ready to add variations to up the gradient.
The mechanics of Bird Dog are relatively simple. Follow the written instructions below. I've also added the weekly video at the bottom of the page so you can do the exercise along with me!
1. Start on all fours with you hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
2. Your spine should be supported by tightening your core at all times. You want to have your head in a neutral position so keep your focus towards the floor. No crunching the neck and looking upwards.
3. You want to extend your right arm forward until it's in line with your torso and then you will want to lift your left leg and extend it straight behind you to be in line with the torso as well. This should be done simultaneously once you get the hang of it.
4. Hold this position for a few seconds then lower down to your starting position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. (Here is a variation with more stability)
5. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears as the tendency will be to bring them up.
6. For beginners repeat this cycle 10 times. For those more seasoned you can add additional repetitions or more advanced variations. (See the video below)
Bird Dog Variation
1. Start with the same preparation extending opposite arm and leg
2. Bend your extended arm inwards towards the opposite knee while simultaneously bending your lifted leg in to meet the elbow. If you're not so flexible in your hips or have a tight lower back you may not be able to have the two meet but this is alright. As long as you keep form and give it a go...you're heading in the right direction!
Don't forget to visit BroadwayFit.com for the amazing nutritional program I use with all of my clients.