Quadruped Bird Dog exercises to improve Core Strength, Low back Health and also Posture

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The Bird Dog has been a popular core and also spinal stabilization exercise for fine over a decade. Made renowned by low-back specialists and also functional training professionals Stuart McGill, Gray Cook and Mike Boyle, the Bird Dog has been shown to be an effective movement to reinforce appropriate spinal alignment and also core recruitment.

You are watching: Quadruped arm and opposite leg raise

Even if you"re unfamiliar with the name, you"ve more than likely performed it yourself or seen it performed in ~ your local gym and fitness center. Performing the Bird Dog is rather simple:

While preserving a neutral spine, kneel top top the floor in a quadruped position with her knees under her hips and your hands under your shoulders.

Raise her opposite arm and leg right out, maintaining your abs braced, stomach in and also your totality body in one right line indigenous head come foot.

The score is to withstand rotation and extension forces that effort to destabilize her spine.


Proper execution can develop a variety of benefits, including improvements in main point musculature innervation, rotating stability, spinal alignment, reduced low-back pain, postural control, shoulder stability, hip alignment, shoulder mobility and also spinal stabilization.In addition, the contralateral (opposite arm and also leg) movement enhances the ability to incorporate a strong pillar while concurrently coordinating upper- and also lower-body movements—a crucial aspect of athletic performance.Whether you"re an athlete, bodybuilder, powerlifter, fitness enthusiast or an active individual in search of a way to enhance your low-back function and spinal health, the Bird Dog is a worthwhile drill that can enhance multiple aspects of performance and muscle function.

The limit of Bird Dogs

During the first couple of attempts, Bird Dogs deserve to be more an overwhelming than they appear. However, with sufficient practice lock quickly come to be quite manageable.One border I"ve noticed with the timeless Bird Dog is that it inevitably i do not care too basic and effortless. Return it might suffice because that elderly individuals and also special populations, it has tendency to shed some that its effectiveness for athletes and higher functioning adults.With this in mind, i devised miscellaneous methods and also progressions that the exercise to an obstacle even the greatest functioning athletes. Here are a couple of of my favorite variations.

7 services of Performing Bird dog on a Bench


Nearly all of these variations indicate the usage of a bench to execute the exercise.This an approach was first highlighted nearly a decade earlier by world-renowned stamin coach Nick Tumminello. Unfortunately, it"s gone greatly unnoticed by most trainers and also coaches. Performing the Bird Dog on a bench instead of the floor (the traditional method) tremendously increases both its challenge and effectiveness, for six reasons:

REASON #1: that eliminates one basic of support. Instead of having actually your feet and ankles solved to the floor, castle hang turn off the edge of the bench. Rather than usual 3 points of call (hand, knee and foot), girlfriend only have two anchor points (hand and knee), which greatly increases instability and activation the the core.


REASON #2: as well as the greater instability, remove the foot anchor allude reduces the likelihood of over-extending your low back, since it promotes better activation of the anterior core. In essence, you"re required to skinny over fairly than tilting back. If girlfriend sit earlier toward your feet and also overarch her low back (a typical compensation pattern with the classic quadrupeds), you"ll lose your balance.

REASON #3: The bench forces you to keep a narrow base of support. Rather of having actually your knees and hands spread out wide, you space confined to the small width the the bench, which deserve to feel fairly challenging. But this also helps promote proper alignment transparent the body.

REASON #4: A traditional bench is generally softer than any floor surface, including an exercise mat. Besides conserving the knees, this substantially increases the difficulty of the movement, because a softer surface tends come be much more unstable and produce much more oscillations in the body.

REASON #5: Kneeling in one elevated position several feet off the floor reasons you come have better respect for the activity to stop falling turn off the bench. This often tends to promote greater levels of mental engagement, focus and concentration, which have the right to do marvels for raising core stability, spinal alignment and motor control.


REASON #6: Hand activation is an regularly ignored facet of quadruped movements. Be sure the hand, as is generally seen when the exercise is carry out on the floor, results in lethargic neuromuscular activation. In contrast, the bench variation promotes intense grip and hand activation, because in stimulate to preserve balance and also control, her anchor hand should firmly tight the side of the bench. This facilitates a neurophysiological an answer known as concurrent activation potentiation (CAP), or irradiation. In basic terms, activation of smaller sized muscles such together those in the hands, feet and neck produces better neural journey to larger muscles transparent the kinetic chain. As a result, friend experience raised core innervation and spinal rigidity, i beg your pardon is exactly what the quadruped Bird Dog drill is designed to promote.

REASON #7:All of these factors make the quadruped exercise an ext unstable and also challenging. As a result, you are forced to develop smoother movements and eliminate momentum, which has actually a propensity to produce jarring extension and rotational pressures on the spine.


This is a deceptively challenging core stabilization and anti-rotation movement. Performing this on the bench substantially increases the an obstacle compared to the floor sports of the quadruped or bird dog exercise. For more information examine out progressed Human performance http://www.surfacetoairnewyork.com/ come learn more about Dr. Joel Seedman and Atlanta personal training as well as athletic power in Atlanta Georgia.","source":"

This is a deceptively complicated core stabilization and anti-rotation movement. Performing this ~ above the bench considerably increases the an obstacle compared to the floor sports of the quadruped or bird dog exercise. For more information examine out advanced Human power http://www.surfacetoairnewyork.com/ come learn much more about Dr. Joel Seedman and also Atlanta personal training and athletic power in Atlanta Georgia.

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Bird Dog top top Bench with partner Perturbations

It"s one point to develop levels that instability in a systematic and also uniform fashion under extremely predictable circumstances. However, athletes likewise need to attend to other biomotor capabilities, which carry a higher degree that specificity to the playing field. Several components I prefer to attend to involve reactive stabilization, unpredictable instability, and also rate that stabilization development.

The following variation involves assuming a standard Bird Dog place on a bench, then obtaining tapped or thrust from a range of angles and also forces. Well-known as perturbation training, this has been scientifically shown to rise activation that the stabilizers and surrounding main point musculature as a means of dealing with unpredictable oscillations and also body jolts.

For athletes in contact sports and in day-to-day life, this deserve to be invaluable. In essence, it teaches you exactly how to appropriately fire her core and also spinal stabilizers as a means of ensuring your body is prepared to handle any and all incoming pressure vectors, regardless of the scenario.

Here are a pair of my NFL athletes, Jarius Wynn and Fernando Velasco, prepping because that the season.


Here room a couple of of mine NFL athletes Jarius Wynn and also Fernando Velasco prepping because that the season. It"s one point to produce levels of security in a very systematic and also uniform fashion under extremely predictable circumstances.","source":"

Here space a couple of of mine NFL athletes Jarius Wynn and Fernando Velasco prepping because that the season. It"s one point to develop levels of security in a really systematic and uniform fashion under extremely predictable circumstances.

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Rapid Bird Dog Call-Out with an answer Selection

Another regularly disregarded facet of core training is price of stabilization development. Even if it is you"re an Olympic weightlifter or a competitive athlete, most sports require the muscles around the spine to activate quickly and also intensely. This drill deserve to be performed using two different methods. The first simply calls for you to carry out the quadruped on a bench by lifting each side as easily as feasible and stability rapidly.

The 2nd is a bit much more complex, as it addresses response time and response choice as well together stabilization development. In this video, I speak to out left or ideal signals, and my athletes no only need to respond as easily as feasible to mine voice, they likewise have to choose the ideal side to lift in an answer to my command, there is no hesitation. Once they have actually selected the ideal side to prolong (typically by corresponding the suitable arm side through the command given), they must stabilize your body, core, and spine as quickly as possible to lock the movement in and avoid shedding their balance.

As most coaches space aware, athletes must be qualified of producing force conveniently (rate of force development). This quadruped drill addresses a comparable and equally crucial performance attribute in the type of price of stabilization development. Besides substantially taxing miscellaneous physiological materials of the body, this sport is really mentally and also psychologically intense, i beg your pardon is other both athletes and also fitness enthusiasts should address. If you"re a coach who is having actually trouble obtaining your athletes to emphasis their minds, this one"s a must.


Another oftentimes-disregarded element of core training is price of stabilization development. Whether you"re one Olympic weightlifter or a compete athlete, many sports need the muscles approximately the spine to activate conveniently not just intensely. This drill deserve to be performed utilizing two various methods.","source":"

Another oftentimes-disregarded facet of core training is rate of stabilization development. Whether you"re one Olympic weightlifter or a compete athlete, many sports require the muscles around the spine come activate easily not simply intensely. This drill can be performed utilizing two various methods.

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Quadruped Bird Dog ~ above Bench through Narrow Base

A an easy modification that provides all the bench sport more daunting is to kneel widthwise quite than lengthwise ~ above the bench. This obviously create an even smaller basic of support, forcing you come resist an ext extreme rotational forces. Be prepared to it is in humbled, due to the fact that this one can be rather frustrating to master.


This quadruped or bird dog sports is straightforward yet fairly complicated as your body needs to resist comprehensive instability and rotational forces. Focus on keeping a directly line throughout her body.","source":"

This quadruped or bird dog sports is basic yet fairly daunting as her body needs to resist comprehensive instability and also rotational forces. Emphasis on maintaining a straight line throughout your body.

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Quadruped Bird Dog ~ above BOSU Ball

The BOSU ball gets a negative rap, primarily due to the fact that most individuals don"t understand its purpose. It"s not expected to overload the element movers but instead come activate the smaller sized stabilizers approximately the shoulders, spine, core, hips and feet.

If you don"t think me, try performing the Bird Dog through your knees on a BOSU ball. Store your feet elevated off the floor, together you would certainly on the bench, climate prepare come activate your core stabilizers like never ever before.


Here"s among my woman figure rivals performing a challenging variation the the quadruped. This exercise substantially challenges every one of the stabilizers of the core.","source":"

Here"s one of my mrs figure rivals performing a challenging variation the the quadruped. This exercise substantially challenges every one of the stabilizers that the core.

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Having her knees elevated slightly above your hand creates a slim decline, which difficulties your core stabilizers even more. If girlfriend have any type of alignment worries or deviation in mechanics native head come toe, this variation will both expose and resolve it, since it"s difficult to do with anything less than an exact execution.