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How To Do A 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/Intermediate_DOLPHIN_PUSH_UPS.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do A Dolphin Push Up With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Learn How To Do A Dolphin Push Up With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_DOLPHIN_PUSH_UPS.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>You’ve probably heard of Flipper and the Miami Dolphins, but did you know that dolphin pushups are a thing? Pushups are a great compound exercise for working your chest, shoulders, core, and more. There a variety of modifications you can make to target different muscle groups as well. Here we’re going to teach you a unique variation of the pushup that will zero in on your upper shoulders, traps, spinal erectors, and abs. Get ready to think about life by the ocean with: the dolphin pushup.</p> <p>To perform the dolphin pushup, lie on your stomach and prop yourself up on your elbows. Come up onto your toes and shift your weight forward bringing your shoulders in a direct line above your wrists. Now press your torso back and up so that your butt points towards the ceiling and your body is in the shape of an inverted V. With a smooth, controlled movement press your body back to the starting position then repeat. This move is an incredible compound upper-body movement that also gives you a great stretch through your backside.</p> <p>If you want to try an easier variation of this exercise, we recommend the kneeling dolphin pushup. Do everything exactly the same as you would for the dolphin pushup, but prop yourself up on your knees rather than coming up onto your toes. The decreased range of motion will help you get used to the movement while building strength in your core, shoulders, and traps to eventually take on the regular dolphin pushup. You can also try the simple kneeling plank. Prop yourself up on your knees and elbows and hold for as long as you can without discomfort.</p> <p>Once you’ve mastered the dolphin pushup, try the alternating one leg dolphin pushup. As you press your butt towards the ceiling, lift your right leg and extend it upward. Come back down then repeat, this time lifting your left leg. Alternating between sides adds an element of balance to this move that will make it more challenging. This also ensures that you build symmetrical strength on your right and left sides.</p> <p>Now let’s learn how to perform the perfect dolphin pushup. </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Lie on the ground then prop yourself up on your elbows and come up onto your toes in a plank position. Shift your weight forward so that your shoulders are directly over your wrists.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="dolphin-push-up-1"> </picture> <li>Keeping your arms flat on the ground, press forward with your hands and squeeze your abs to lift your butt towards the ceiling. Stop when your body is in an inverted V shape.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="dolphin-push-up-2"> </picture> <li>Press your torso back in the opposite direction to return to the starting position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="dolphin-push-up-3"> </picture> <li>Repeat until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>To maintain the perfect plank position at the start of the exercise, be sure to squeeze your glutes hard and press your hands into the ground. You should already feel your core and upper body firing in the plank.</li> <li>Exhale as you press yourself up, then inhale as you come back forward. A steady breathing rhythm keeps your focus on maintaining good form, plus it gets the blood pumping to your muscles, giving you an extra boost.</li> <li>Stay active throughout your entire body as you press your butt upwards rather than just relying on your upper body to get you there. Press the balls of your feet into the ground to activate your leg muscles and create tension in your core to work those ab muscles. You should feel your abs activate the same way they would if you were to sit with your legs extended in front of you then lift them up. </li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="dolphin-push-up-4"> </picture> <li>As you press yourself up, don’t allow your elbows to flare out. Your body is going to want to do this to get those last few inches towards the ceiling in, but doing this will put you at risk of injuring your shoulder. Instead, keep your elbows in a straight line with your body and activate your arms as though you’re dragging them slightly inward. You should feel your pecs, shoulders, and lats firing as you do this.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-5.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-5.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-5.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/dolphin-push-up-LR-5.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="dolphin-push-up-5"> </picture> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>The name of this exercise might be silly, but the results you’ll get show that this move is anything but. The dolphin pushup is going to build strength in your shoulders, traps, and core while giving you a nice gentle stretch throughout the back of your body. Follow the cues we’ve offered here to get the most out of your dolphin pushups.</p> <p>Again, this is a difficult move so if you’d prefer to start with something simpler, do the kneeling dolphin pushup instead. Propping yourself on your knees makes this move more accessible, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work core and upper body just as hard. You can also try a kneeling plank by coming up on your elbows and knees and holding a plank pose.</p> <p>The dolphin pushup is a great precursor for the advanced alternating one-leg dolphin pushup. In that move you’ll lift each leg off the ground one at a time. This leads you to build equal strength on both sides of your body while increasing the amount of weight each leg is pushing during the movement. It’s definitely worth working up to!</p> <p>Now that we’ve shown you how to perform the perfect dolphin pushup, it’s time to try it out for yourself. Add a few sets to your next workout or get down on the floor and do some repetitions the next time you’re watching TV or reading at home.</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-alternating-one-leg-dolphin-push-up/">Alternating One Leg Dolphin Pushups</a>. If this exercise is too difficult, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-kneeling-dolphin-push-ups/">Kneeling Dolphin Pushups</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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