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Bird Dog Row [Exercise Guide]

Bird Dog Row

What Is Bird Dog Row

The bird dog row is performed by getting into a quadruped position, extending one leg behind you, and rowing a weight towards your torso. Both the bird dog and the single-arm row are components of the exercise. These two movements go exceptionally well together, creating a routine worth trying. It’s versatile enough to be included in various regimens for various health benefits. 

What Muscles Does Bird Dog Row Work

The bird dog targets:

  • abdominal muscles
  • gluteal muscles
  • spinal erectors

These muscle groups ensure that the whole body may move freely, with control, and without instability. To get the full advantages of bird dog position, moving your whole body is important rather than focusing on individual muscles or motions.

How to Perform Bird Dog Row

Step 1. Get into the starting position

Quadruple your body weight and get down on an exercise mat or bench. The last option is better if available. This way, you will feel freer with your arm moves.

Step 2. Raise your leg and do an extension

As you raise your right leg till it’s perpendicular to your back, grab the weight in your left hand. You’ll be doing a leg extension. Maintain as much straightness in the extended leg as you can. This aids in proper posture when working out. It will help you maintain a strong core, glutes, and hamstrings throughout the whole workout.

Step 3. Bring the dumbbell up

Keep your body in the posture described above as you bring the weight up, keeping your core, glutes, and hamstrings tight. It’s best not to put undue strain on your back by bending down awkwardly or raising your leg higher than is comfortable.

Step 4. Return to the starting position

Put the weights down slowly and repeat the process the desired number of times. Switch a side, and do everything from the start.

Advantages Of A Bird Dog Row

Posture improvement

This is the perfect workout for those suffering from low back pain. It may also aid in the improvement of balance and posture. Persons may make this move of any age to strengthen the core, improve posture, and alleviate or prevent injuries.

Compound exercise

The bird dog helps you strengthen your core and maintain low back stability while exercising your arms and legs. With this, you may move more freely and easily in many aspects of your everyday life.

Building balance and strength

Having one leg extended and the weight shifted up and down will generate some instability, which your body will have to fight continually. As a result, you get balance improvement. You’ll feel the strain on your abs and core when you row with big weights. That’s right; you can turn it into a killer abs and obliques workout with time!

Prevents Back Pain

When doing single-arm rows, it’s important to maintain proper form to avoid injuring your lower back. The back moves into a posture that emphasizes activation of the core and glutes in the bird dog variant to prevent any such problem from occurring.

Disadvantage Of A Bird Dog Row

It can be hard for beginners

This row is a great upper-back workout and one of the most difficult core exercises. It requires the lifters to keep their spine in a neutral position while fighting instability and rotation. If you are a beginner, you should definitely start with light weights.

3 Bird Dog Row Alternatives

1. Kettlebell Row 

The rhomboids, the biceps, and the latissimus dorsi all benefit from the kettlebell row. The workout is rather simple and accessible to people of all fitness levels. The following instruction will help you to achieve a proper form.

How to do a Kettlebell Row:

  • Put the kettlebell in between your shins. Spread your knees apart so that your hips are lower than your shoulders, then squat down. Maintain a nearly horizontal back position.
  • Grab the weight. Start by bringing your hands behind your back and bending your elbows. 
  • Pull your arms in toward your body. Make sure your wrist is below your elbow.
  • Wait two seconds, then straighten your arms to return to the start.

2. Humble Row

This workout is the simplest version of the dumbbell chest press. Compared to a traditional chest-supported dumbbell row, the humble row provides greater stimulation to the back deltoid, rhomboid, and traps due to the wrist and elbow position.

How to do a Humble Row:

  • Install an incline bench with a 30° – 45° angle.
  • Get in position by facing an incline bench and sitting with your chest propped up on a bench. Holding the weights, extend your arms in front of you and let them hang straight.
  • Bend your elbows and row the weights up to the side of your chest while maintaining your core firm and without moving your hips.
  • Ensure your shoulder blades twist away from your spine.
  • At the pinnacle of the movement, pause for a second with your elbows behind your body until you feel the maximum tightness in the targeted muscles.
  • Return to the start.  

3. Renegade Row 

The obliques, rhomboids, and triceps are all worked in tandem during renegade rows, making them an excellent full-body workout. Renegade rows, if performed correctly, are an excellent exercise for building upper-body strength and enhancing balance and stability.

How to do Renegade Row:

  • Spread the dumbbells out so that they are shoulder-width apart on the ground. Put your feet further apart than shoulder-width apart and go into a plank posture.
  • Raise your hands, keeping your wrists in a neutral posture as you lift the weights. Stiffen your torso and push your right arm until it meets the floor.
  • Perform a row with the left dumbbell, bringing it up and to the side of the rib cage. 
  • As you drop the weight down, maintain stability throughout your body. Turn to the other side and repeat the whole process.


The bird dog is a basic core exercise that helps you feel stronger and more stable while also promoting a neutral spine and reducing back discomfort. The abdominals, thighs, and back are all worked on simultaneously in this all-over workout. It also aids in the promotion of healthy posture. Include it in your workout plan to enhance your overall strength and performance.

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