Downward Facing Dog
This exercise involves starting on all fours, then lifting the hips up and back to create an inverted V-shape with the body. It is a common yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings, calves, and spine while also strengthening the arms and shoulders.
Downward Facing Dog Instructions
- Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Spread your fingers wide and press firmly through your palms and knuckles, tucking your toes under.
- Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor, keeping them slightly bent.
- Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis.
- Press your heels down toward the floor and straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees.
- Keep your head between your upper arms and your gaze toward your navel.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths, then release back to your hands and knees.
Downward Facing Dog Form & Visual
Downward Facing Dog Benefits
- Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and spine
- Strengthens the arms and shoulders
- Improves digestion and relieves stress
- Helps to relieve headaches, fatigue, and back pain
- Can improve posture and balance
Downward Facing Dog Muscles Worked
Downward Facing Dog Variations & Alternatives
- Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog
- Downward Facing Dog with Alternating Leg Lifts
- Downward Facing Dog with Knee-to-Nose
- Downward Facing Dog with Dolphin Plank
- Downward Facing Dog with Side Plank