How To Do The Two-Point Box

Two-point box
(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Not sure you’ve heard of the two-point box exercise? It’s possible you have, since it also goes by the moniker bird-dog crunch. There might even be another name for the movement we’re not aware of yet. 

Whatever you call it, the two-point box is a core exercise worth knowing. Read on for a guide to the benefits of the exercise and a form guide.

Two-Point Box Benefits

The two-point box is a progression from the straightforward bird-dog, which involves only the pointing movements. It strengthens your core muscles, working the abs and lower back in particular. It will also improve your balance and strengthen stabiliser muscles around the midsection.

How To Do The Two-Point Box

Start on all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Throughout the exercise aim to keep your spine in a neutral position, where your pelvis is neither tipped forwards nor backwards. Your hips should be level and your neck should be in line with your spine.

Stretch your left leg out behind you and your right arm out in front of you. It takes a bit of imagination but at this point you somewhat resemble a bird-dog – think pointers, retrievers and setters – pointing out the prey for a hunter.

Hold for a second in this position, then slowly bring your elbow and knee together to meet under your abdomen. You can either return your hand and foot to the floor, and then repeat using the opposite limbs, or complete all your reps on one side and then switch. The latter is more challenging because it maintains tension in your muscles throughout.

It’s all too easy to rush the movement with the two-point box; moving slowly and surely is the key to unlocking the benefits of the exercise. It’s all about challenging your stability and making all the tiny muscles in your core work hard to stop you toppling over.

If you are struggling with your balance during the exercise, go back to the standard bird-dog, where you don’t have to bring your elbow and knee to meet. You can also do the dead bug exercise to work your abs in a similar way and strengthen your core before returning to the two-point box.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.