Upward Facing Dog

Upward Facing Dog


This exercise is a yoga pose where the practitioner lies on their stomach and lifts their chest and upper body off the ground while keeping their legs and pelvis on the floor. The pose is meant to stretch the chest, shoulders, and abdomen while strengthening the arms and spine.

Muscle Group

Equipment Required

Upward Facing Dog Instructions

  1. Start by lying face down on your mat with your hands placed next to your shoulders and your elbows close to your body.
  2. Press your hands and the tops of your feet into the mat as you inhale and lift your chest off the ground.
  3. Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears as you straighten your arms and lift your thighs off the mat.
  4. Engage your core and press your hips forward as you lift your gaze towards the ceiling.
  5. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then exhale and release back down to the mat.

Upward Facing Dog Form & Visual

Upward Facing Dog

Upward Facing Dog Benefits

  • Stretches the chest, shoulders, and abdomen
  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine
  • Improves posture and flexibility
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion
  • Relieves fatigue and mild depression

Upward Facing Dog Muscles Worked

  • Chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor)
  • Shoulder muscles (deltoids)
  • Abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis and obliques)
  • Back muscles (erector spinae and latissimus dorsi)
  • Gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus)
  • Thigh muscles (quadriceps)

Upward Facing Dog Variations & Alternatives

  • Upward Facing Dog with leg lift
  • Upward Facing Dog with arm reach
  • Upward Facing Dog with side stretch
  • Upward Facing Dog with twist
  • Upward Facing Dog with hip opener