Let’s get crazy and Bird Dog our way to a better swing! The good old “Bird Dog” exercise series is tried and trued by Phyisical Therapists around the world for teaching people how to improve spinal stability. I wanted to take some time to share with you two versions of “Bird Dog” to help you with your swing.
Both exercises are performed on your hands and knees, the second exercise simply adds resistance to the first for those of you who already have a pretty strong core and are working on developing improved glute strength. Step one….Position yourself on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Next, pull your belly button in toward your spine to fully engage your core, do not round out your back. Your back should be perfectly straight and your shoulder blades should be set in a neutral alignment. Now slowly raise your right arm and left leg, extending them outward as far as you can while keeping your spine straight. Lower your arm and leg and switch sides, repeat 15-30 times per side. If you are doing this exercise correctly you will feel tired or fatigued in your shoulders, flutes and abs, work on controlling your balance and form.
The second exercise is the same as the first, except with a bit of resistance added. One of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment, which I have been using for over 10 years in training my athletes is “Grey Cook’s FMT band.” I use it because it can make an exercise easier or harder, thus helping my clients achieve better form or once they have great form we can add resistance to challenge them during the same exercise (You can purchase a Grey Cook FMT band at http://www.performbetter.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product1_10151_10751_1004842_-1) which is what we are doing today with the Bird Dog exercise. Let’s get to it! Get into the same position as described above (all 4s, hands under shoulders, knees under hips). The Grey Cook FMT band has a few loops, put your left foot through the center loop, make sure the loop is centered on the band, grab both foam handles on the ends of the tube. Your left knee should be straddling the bands, see video link. Now, fully engage your core by pulling in your belly button toward your spine without rounding your back. Then pulling against the band with your right arm and pushing with your left leg, raise them just like I described above. This time you will not alternate sides, you will stay on the same side and repeat the motion 20-30 times, keeping perfect form. If your form breaks down, you must stop immediately and rest. Form is king, always! Then switch sides and repeat. Watch the video link below to get a better understanding of the exercise. If you have questions please comment or email me. Hope you have a fun time trying this exercise, please subscribe to my blog and you tube channel for more great tips on improving your game and your wellness!