Feeling like you need a bit of booty building action? This week in the Best Butt Exercises series, you’ll learn a great butt exercise that not only will help to tighten and tone that tush, but also firm up your tummy as well! 6-pack abs anyone? This is an excellent core exercise, and the bonus is that it gets the glutes too. Love it!

Enter: the ‘bird-dog’. No, it’s not some kind of mythical beast, it’s the name of this odd-looking exercise. Don’t ask me about the name. I think it’s weird too.

bird dog
This one looks like he has wings and could possibly fly…


Exercise: Bird-Dog
Muscles worked: Glutes, stomach, back (core)
Jolie Recommends:  Try aiming for 40 bird-dogs, alternating sides as you go
Difficulty rating: 5
Effectiveness rating: 6

This exercise is another great low-intensity butt-burning move that won’t trouble your knees. Did I mention that it also will do wonders for your core and balance?

Here’s what it looks like:

The best aspect of this exercise is that it’s another at-home, no-equipment-required exercise that is both free and easy! It’s not overly cardio-intensive, but it is quite challenging if you haven’t done anything like this before.

The bird-dog will work your core strength and challenge your balance. It’s not as easy as it looks – try it and see!

Best Butt Exercise #19: Bird-Dog

The video demonstration below shows how to do the bird-dog exercise.

How to Do the Move
  1. Begin on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and knees directly below hips.
  2. Engaging your core, bring the spine into a neutral position (straight back – neither arched, nor hunched over).
  3. With control, raise your right arm straight out in front of you, and at the same time, extend you left leg out straight behind you.
  4. Hold at the top of the motion and give you glutes a little squeeze to get your leg as high as it will go.
  5. Lower back to the starting position, and repeat with the opposite leg and arm.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, being sure to exercise both sides evenly.

Perfecting Your Form

  • Keep the core engaged and spine in neutral position – this exercise relies heavily on not allowing your stomach to sag down and your back to arch!
  • Try to keep your hips square to the floor throughout the move.
  • Squeeze the glutes (I’m pretty sure I say this every week!) at the top of the movement and hold for just a second. You should feel the burn.
  • Keep your movements slow and controlled. You get no points for speeding through this exercise!

Reppin’ It

Try for 40 reps of this one, alternating sides as you go (that’s 20 per side). Alternatively, if you want to feel a bit more burn, repeat the exercise on one side only for 20 reps before switching to the other for another 20 reps.

Once this becomes easy, you can add weight in the form of an ankle weight and dumbbell if you wish. Another variation for making this more difficult is shown in the video too – which involves performing the exercise with the same arm and leg raised (as opposed to opposite limbs).  That should keep you busy for a while!

Best Butt Exercises: The Bird Dog
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4 thoughts on “Best Butt Exercises: The Bird Dog

  • August 24, 2015 at 7:06 am

    hey ive been starting to work out reetncly and ive been trying to switch it up, biking, (20-40 miles a week) swimming(1hr of moderate freestyle) walking (2.5 miles 3times a week) high intense cardio workout for 25 minutes and its been 15 days and i only lost 6 pounds im 5’6 and was 136 but now i am 130 and i would like to get down to 125-120 i am changing the way i eat alot protein and veggies! i wanna change my stomach will this excerise flatten my stomach alot wen would i see results?

    • August 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Murat, congratulations on your weight loss! That’s great that you are already seeing results, keep at it! Diet will definitely be a determining factor, check out this slow-carb diet that sounds a bit like what you are doing. Make sure it’s something sustainable though, otherwise when you switch back to your ‘normal’ eating habits then you might see your results go.

      In terms of exercises that flatten your stomach, unfortunately there’s no way to ‘spot reduce’ fat from a certain area of your body – when you lose weight, you’ll lose it in layers (like an onion!) from all over your whole body. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t tone up your stomach muscles underneath! You are definitely on the right track with the cardio, which will help with weight loss. But weight-lifting (to build muscle) can also be a great way to burn calories so that you’ll lose weight overall.

      The bird-dog exercise does use your stomach, but it isn’t that ab-focused, so you may have better luck with something like crunches, sit ups and core exercises like planks (this variation and this variation can help improve your butt as well).

      I have also read about these two exercises in the 4 Hour Body book that can really target your stomach muscles: Mytoatic crunches and this stomach vacuum exercise. Good luck!

  • December 25, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Aloha Jolie,
    Just in case you are interested, your open says you dom’t get the name. Allow me if I may. It is because bird dogs track their owners prey in the tall brush and grass that wild birds are hunted in. The dogs get into a ‘point or pointer’ position with tail straight out their spine and their noses pointed dead ahead at the shot bird.

    Peace and mahalo for all the tremendous info!


    • January 2, 2018 at 9:26 am

      Ah – of course! That makes perfect sense. I have seen dogs in that position many times in cartoons etc., who would have guessed they were inadvertently doing an excellent butt exercise in the process hahaha 😛
      Thanks for sharing that J !


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