How to do Downward Dog

Back to Exercises

Difficulty: Easy

Impact Level: Normal

Target Body Parts: abs, triceps, upper back, calves, chest, hamstrings, shoulders

Instructions

From your hands and knees, pull your belly button to the spine to activate the core. Press firmly into your hands and feet to raise your knees off the floor coming into and inverted ‘V’ position. Have the knees slightly bent whilst simultaneously directing your heels towards the floor, stretching the back of the legs. Aim to create a straight line with your spine from hands to hips, pull your belly button to your spine and pull your lower ribs into the body. Press your hands firmly into the floor and make space between the arms and the ears. Hold for a few breaths. The bend the knees and lower carefully to come back to all fours.

A common mistake in this pose is to have a rounded lower back rather than a straight spine. To correct this, especially if your Hamstrings (back of things) are tight is to bend the knees deeply and aim to tilt the coccyx up to the ceiling slightly more.

How to make Downward Dog easier

Bend your knees a lot to make it easier and shorten the distance between your hands and feet.

How to make Downward Dog more challenging

Lengthen the distance between your hands and feet.

Looking to add this exercise to your workouts?

Customize your workouts simply by adding or removing Sworkit exercises. Sign in or sign up to get started.

Try It Out