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How To Do An Alternating One Leg Dolphin Push Up With Perfect Form

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "KC Clements, MS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Advanced_ALTERNATING_ONE_LEG_DOLPHIN_PUSH_UP.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do An Alternating One Leg Dolphin Push Up With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-11-11", "description":"Learn How To Do An Alternating One Leg Dolphin Push Up With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Advanced_ALTERNATING_ONE_LEG_DOLPHIN_PUSH_UP.jpg" } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Instructions</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Things to Keep in Mind</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Conclusion</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>If you’ve been following along with us, you may have already encountered the dolphin pushup, a unique intermediate exercise that works your shoulders, traps, core, spinal erectors, and more. Here we’re going to show you a challenging variation on that move. It’ll have you working hard to alternate balancing on each of your legs: the alternating one leg dolphin pushup.</p> <p>To perform the alternating one leg dolphin pushup, lie on the floor and prop yourself on your elbows. Come into a plank by coming up onto your toes and shift your weight forward. Now, press your torso back as you extend your right leg up and out as far as you can. With control, return to the starting position then repeat, this time extending your left leg. As you alternate between legs, you’ll promote muscle symmetry. This also benefits your core and your legs as you’ll need to work each of these extra hard to remain stable.</p> <p>If this exercise is too challenging for you, try starting with the dolphin pushup. Do everything almost the same as you did for the alternating variation. Instead of extending one of your legs each repetition, just bring your butt up toward the ceiling as high as you can. Both of your feet remain on the floor throughout the exercise. Again, this move works so many different parts of your body from your upper arms and chest to your abs and more.</p> <p>Beginners may want to start with an easier variation of the dolphin pushup, the kneeling dolphin pushup. The only difference with this version is that you’ll prop yourself up on your knees rather than on your toes. This modification decreases core tension and range of motion, making it much more accessible. Simplifying this exercise allows you to start building up core and upper body strength so you’ll be fully prepared to tackle more challenging variations.</p> <p>Now, let’s learn how to perform the perfect alternating one leg dolphin pushup.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Come into a plank position propped up on your elbows. Shift your weight forward so your shoulders are over your wrists.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-one-leg-dolphin-1"> </picture> <li>Press through your hands and forearms to move your torso back and your butt upward. As you do this, lift your right leg off the floor and extend it behind you.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-one-leg-dolphin-2"> </picture> <li>Slowly return to the starting position then repeat, this time extending your left leg behind you.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-one-leg-dolphin-3"> </picture> <li>Continue alternating until you’ve completed a set.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>Press your forearms and hands into the floor as you perform the exercise. Without actually moving your arms, activate the muscles as though you’re trying to push your elbows up towards your ears.</li> <li>Make sure to start with your shoulders forward so they’re above your wrists. If you’re too far back, you decrease the range of motion which means you’re not going to get the full benefit from this exercise.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-one-leg-dolphin-4"> </picture> <li>For the leg that’s planted, squeeze the quad to lock your knee and press your leg into the ground. As you do this, bring your torso as close to your thighs as you possibly can. This ensures that you’re activating your ab muscles, making this move as challenging for yourself as possible.</li> <li>Don’t let your elbows flare during the exercise. Instead, think about squeezing them inward. You should feel your pec muscles firing if you’re doing this correctly.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-5.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-5.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-5.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-one-leg-dolphin-LR-5.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-one-leg-dolphin-5"> </picture> <li>Inhale as you move forward and exhale as you press back to stay focused on good form and steady in your pace.</li> <li>Keep your back nice and flat throughout the movement, not allowing it to sag or arch as this can throw your body out of alignment.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>The alternating one leg dolphin pushup is a difficult move to grasp. Once you do, you’re going to see incredible strength improvements in your core and upper body as well as a more stable spine. Take it slow to start and really focus on your form to get the maximum results from this move.</p> <p>If you’re new to working out or not quite ready for this exercise, start at the beginning of the progression with the kneeling dolphin pushup. As you build strength you can transition into the regular dolphin pushup. Eventually you’ll feel prepared to do the alternating variation with confidence and perfect form.</p> <p>Now that you’ve got all the cues you need, it’s time to put this move into practice. Try adding a set to your next workout or do a few repetitions while you wait for your coffee to brew in morning.</p> <p>If this exercise is too difficult, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-dolphin-push-up/">Dolphin Pushups</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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