What it does:

The Bird Dog is a great exercise to increase core strength and muscular endurance. It activates the entire core and especially the Quadratus Lumborum, the Transverse Abdominus and the Multifidus, which are crucial for low back stability.

Why We Love It:

The Bird Dog activates the spinal stabilizers without putting excessive load on the spine. (1) It is a relativity safe exercise to improve or prevent low back pain.

How you do it:

Starting Position

Begin on your hands and knees with your head and back in a straight position. Hands should be under your shoulders, hips directly above knees.


Activate core muscles. Raise one arm to shoulder level as opposite leg simultaneously lifts off floor, extending to hip height. Pause momentarily. Return to start position and alternate sides. Maintain a straight spine position, not allowing your hips to twist or rotate. Do not hyper-extend low back when extending leg. Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

Click HERE for the Exercise Video


(1) McGill, S., et al. 1999. Endurance Times for Low Back Stabilization Exercises: Clinical Targets for Testing and Training From a Normal Database. Arch Phys Med Rehabilitation Vol 80.

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David Cruz

Author David Cruz

Dr. David Cruz, DC practiced as a sports chiropractor in an medical orthopedic setting for 20 years treating athletic injuries, from weekend warriors to college athletes serving as the team chiropractor for Dominican University. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) as well as having both FMS and SFMA certifications. The combination of his background in sports medicine and interest in technology made him passionate about bringing these two worlds closer together, resulting in the foundation of his company WebExercises in 2005. WebExercises is used by health and fitness professionals to create, share and monitor patient exercise programs.

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