How To Do Bird Dog Crunch

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstratng Bird Dog Crunch


Bird Dog Crunch is a core body exercise that strengthens the lower back and abdominals while helping your body learn to balance and find stability. If you learn how to do Bird Dog Crunch you will have an exercise that helps teach and train your body to be stronger in the center, providing you with more strength overall.


You can practice Bird Dog Crunch 2-3 times per week. Try it in our workout 10 Best Exercises for Your Bad Back.

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    How To Do Bird Dog Crunch

    Here are the steps to performing Bird Dog Crunch:

    1) Kneel on the mat on all fours. Reach one arm long, draw in the abs, and extend the opposite leg long behind you.

    2) Bring the elbow and knee in towards your center as you round your back remember to draw in your abs. Repeat for desired number of reps then switch sides.

    [adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”ASQLmBqm” upload-date=”2017-10-25T17:37:06.000Z” name=”Bird-Dog Crunches” description=”This variation on the classic crunch targets your core, abs and obliques in a new way. You’ll definitely be feeling the burn and seeing the results if you keep up with this at-home, bodyweight workout!”]

    The first tip in practicing Bird Dog Crunch is to make sure you are on a mat or softer surface. Don’t pick something too thick or you will have trouble getting enough balance to perform the exercise. However, make sure it is a soft enough surface that you do not aggravate your knee caps since you will be on all fours. Another tip for this exercise if you have sensitive wrists is to close your hands and place your knuckles on the floor instead of open hands or hold onto some stable dumbbells that will keep your wrists in neutral position.

    While you perform the Bird Dog Crunch, try to be mindful of your breathing. Inhale as you tuck under and exhale while extending your opposite arm and leg out. Make sure that as you extend your arm and leg you are tucking your belly button in to keep your back strong and stable. Another tip is to try and be as still as possible as you move. In other words, don’t let your back tip from side to side.

    What Muscles Does Bird Dog Crunch Work

    Bird Dog Crunch is an awesome core strength move that works your abdominal muscles, lower back and stabilizers.

    Benefits of Bird Dog Crunch

    There are many reasons you should incorporate Bird Dog Crunch into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    Stronger Lower Back

    The Bird Dog Crunch is a move that focuses on stability, strength and overall health of your core and low back. Moves like the Bird Dog Crunch will help you avoid low back pain and injury by keeping the muscles that surround your spine strong and capable.

    Sculpt Your Abs

    There are so many exercises available for getting tight abs. Crunches and planks are the most commonly used. Bird Dog Crunch is like a combination of both. This move gives you a new and fresh option for sculpting your abs!

    Improves Your Balance

    Part of the challenge you will find in practicing the Bird Dog Crunch is keeping your balance. Extending one arm and the opposite leg poses a good challenge for your balance and stability. The beauty of this move is you can really feel how your core muscles engage every time you start to wobble.

    How Many Calories Does a Bird Dog Crunch Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at higher intensity. Bottom line – the harder you work, the more calories you burn. The benefits of the Bird Dog Crunch far outweigh any calorie burn you should worry about.

    Other Exercises Similar to Bird Dog Crunch

    If you like the Bird Dog Crunch and the results you get from it, here are a few more exercises you might want to try.

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    How To Do Basic Crunch

    Incorporating Bird Dog Crunch Into Your Workouts

    Bird Dog Crunch is an amazing core exercise all on its own! However, you could also incorporate Bird Dog Crunch into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen.

    Use Bird Dog Crunch In a Core Strength Workout

    It only takes 4 or 5 good moves to get a complete core workout and cover virtually every muscle group in your middle. The Bird Dog crunch will do just that in this next workout that will do just exactly that!

    Core Body Blast

    Forearm plank – Hold 30 seconds

    Modified Side Plank Crunch – 10 reps right, 10 reps left

    Bird Dog Crunch – 12 reps

    Scissors – 30 seconds.

    Repeat if desired!

    Use Bird Dog Crunch In Your Yoga Practice

    Yoga is such a good workout not only for your flexibility, but also for your overall strength and core training. Incorporating the Bird Dog Crunch into your yoga practice adds balance and core strength. Try this short yoga series at home:

    Yoga For Core Strength

    Cat-Cow- (5 repetitions)

    Downward dog – Plank – Chaturanga – Upward Dog – (repeat series 5 times)

    Crescent Lunge Right – Warrior 2 – Reverse Warrior – Warrior 3

    Downward dog – Plank – Chaturanga – Upward Dog –Downward Dog

    Crescent Lunge Left – Warrior 2 – Reverse Warrior – Warrior 3

    Downward dog – Plank – Chaturanga – Upward Dog –Downward Dog


    Bird Dog Crunch

    Child’s Pose

    Use Bird Dog Crunch In Your Full Body Strength Workout

    Leg Day is great. Upper body day is fantastic. But FULL BODY day is the best! Take one workout and get it all done at once. This one gets it all done and includes the Bird Dog Crunch as well as a bunch of other basic strength moves.

    Full Body Basic Move Strength Workout

    Warm up for about 2-3 minutes then:

    Do between 10-15 of each of the following moves:

    Basic Squat


    Side Lunges

    Tricep Dips

    Alternating Forward Lunges

    Bird Dog Crunch

    Repeat the sequence again!

    Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate the Bird Dog Crunch!

    15-Minute Workout To Get Rid of Lower Belly Pooch

    5 Pilates Moves To Sculpt Your Core

    10 Best Exercises For Your Bad Back

    Targets: core, back, hamstrings


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