This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.
When it comes to strengthening the body, training your balance, and improving overall stability—bird dog is one exercise every trainer swears by. That's because this bodyweight, low-impact fitness move engages your entire core (think abs, back, glutes, and more), plus it puts your upper and lower body to work, too. Here's how to do this quintessential exercise, as demonstrated by certified Pilates instructor Helen Phelan.
How to do bird dog:
- Get on all fours, and place shins flat on the ground. Release your shoulder blades away from your ears.
- Exhale as you reach your right arm and left leg up, stretching them both away from your body in opposite directions.
- As you lift, don't arch your back or bring your leg too high. Keep the shoulders and hips level. Push away from the floor with your hand and shin. Tuck your pelvis slightly and hug your abdominals in; squeeze your glutes for stability.