A favourite exercise of Doctorate of Physical Therapy Kristina Maxwell at Align is the bird dog yoga pose. Maxwell highly recommends that her clients add core strengthening exercises to their routines because having a strong core allows for increased stability and mobility. “You can accomplish a lot with this move,” says Kristina. “It builds your core strength and your arms and legs can’t function without core strength.”
This move also helps build good posture as it allows you to practise having a nice flat back while maintaining movement in the core. “Ideally with this move, your limbs are moving while you maintain a stable core. Throughout the move and as you switch sides, you should be able to set something on your back and it should stay there,” says Kristina.
Follow Kristina’s guided steps to try this move at home or at the gym or visit her at Align, located on the Paseo in Camana Bay.
How it’s done:
Start in tabletop or quadruped position with your hands and knees flat on the floor. Pull your belly button in and back. Slowly extend your right arm straight forward and your left leg straight back. Lift the arm and leg to neutral (even with the back). Keep your back flat, squeeze the glute and shoulder blades together and keep the belly button pulled in toward the back. Slowly release back to tabletop position. Repeat this movement on the opposite side with your left arm moving straight ahead and your right leg extending straight back. Return to starting position to complete one full set. Repeat for 20-30 repetitions.
With any body weight exercise or weight training, always keep the belly button pulled in and back. This keeps everything braced and you’re less likely to injure yourself because those deep muscles are prepped before you lift anything really heavy.