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Bird Dog Back Stabilization Exercise

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This exercise focuses on the muscles that stabilize your back. A stable back is the key to controlled movement and needed for every activity and/or sport.

This exercise requires core activation and stabilization with extremity movement. The challenge is to keep your back and pelvis straight and still by engaging your core muscles. The exercise starts with your arms and as you increase your strength and stability you can progress to legs, then combine the two. 
Start: On hands and knees directly under the shoulder and hips, respectively. You can place a ball or dowel on the small of your back as a tactile cue. Tighten your abdominals. 
With your core engaged lift one arm up while keeping your back perfectly still. Return to start and perform with other arm. Repeat for 10 reps 2-3 sets. 
Progression: with your core engaged, extend one leg back while keeping your back and pelvis perfectly still. Return to start and perform with other leg. Repeat for 10 reps 2-3 sets. 
Final progression: With your core engaged, extend one arm and the opposite leg while maintaining a straight spine. Return to start and perform with the other arm and leg.
You want the motion to be slow and controlled.

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Stone, K.R., A.W. Walgenbach, A. Freyer, T.J. Turek, and D.P. Speer. 2006.

Stone, K.R., Pelsis J.R., Adelson W.S., Walgenbach, A.W. 2010.

Stone, K.R., A.W. Walgenbach, A. Freyer, T.J. Turek, and D.P. Speer. 2006.