Exercise of the Week: Downward Dog

 In Mobility & Movement Blog

Luke Lewitzke

Certified A.C.E. (American Counsel on Exercise) Personal Trainer

Weight and Lifestyle Management Specialist


Downward Dog will work on strengthening your deltoids, triceps, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rotator cuff muscles and serratus anterior. It will also help stretch your hamstrings, calves, hips, and lower back.

Performing the Downward Dog

  • Start in a High Plank/Push-Up position.
  • Slowly drive your hips up to the corner of the ceiling, lowering your chest towards your thighs and pressing your heels to the floor.
  • It is important that you keep your neck neutral and to think about pressing the floor away from you to lengthen through your shoulder joint.
  • Hold the pose for 2 slow, deep breaths before returning to the High Plank position.
  • Repeat the movement for 5-10 repetitions.


Tabletop Downward Dog













  • Use a countertop or the wall, start in a push-up position.
  • Brace the core, and then slowly push the hips back while maintaining a straight neutral spine.
  • Hold the stretch and breathe in, as you exhale, return to the pushup position.
  • Focus on pushing the countertop or wall away from you.
  • Perform 5-10 repetitions.


  • Don’t perform Downward Dog if you have shoulder or wrist pain.
  • Don’t perform Downward Dog if you experience sharp or stabbing lower back pain when you hinge forward.