Woman doing the bird-dog exercise pose

Image: Courtesy of the American Council on Exercise (ACE)

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Must-Know Exercise 4: The Bird Dog
Why: Even regular gym-goers tend to forget about their back—until it starts to ache, says Garber. She adds that data suggests poor posture (like when you hunch over your laptop) can cause an imbalance between the strength of your abs and your back muscles, which can lead to pain.
Do: Start on your hands and knees, with your knees directly under the hips and your hands beneath your shoulders. Brace your core. Point your left arm in front of you at the same time as you straighten the right leg behind you. Hold for eight seconds and then switch.
Don't: Matthews says that when people lift one leg, they often turn out that same hip. Engaging the core can help keep you level, and so can lifting the leg just to hip height.
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