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How To Do Kneeling Dolphin Push Ups 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": "Elisa Silva" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Beginner_KNEELING_DOLPHIN_PUSH_UPS.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do Kneeling Dolphin Push Ups With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Learn How To Do Kneeling Dolphin Push Ups With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Beginner_KNEELING_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>Most of us have probably done a few sets of regular pushups in our lives; they’re one of the most popular exercises out there. However, the pushup is an incredibly versatile movement that has a number of different variations, each targeting their own specific muscle groups. Here we’re going to teach you a fun, unique beginner take on the pushup: the kneeling dolphin pushup.</p> <p>The kneeling dolphin pushup starts in a tabletop position, but with your shoulders pushed forward so they’re over your wrists. Push your torso back and dig your toes into the ground to press your butt up towards the ceiling, then return to the starting position. </p> <p>In addition to targeting the typical pushup muscles—the arms, chest, and core—this version is going to really emphasize the upper part of your shoulders, both in that challenging starting position and as you work through the movement. Plus, as you push up through your toes, you’re going to really pump your lower body as well.</p> <p>This variation can be a little challenging for the beginner, so if you find yourself struggling to get the kneeling dolphin pushup down, you can start out by trying the kneeling plank. For the kneeling plank, prop yourself up on your elbows and your bent knees. Hold this modified plank position for an allotted time period to get a powerful core workout.</p> <p>Once you’ve perfected the kneeling dolphin pushup, you’ll be able to test out the regular Dolphin pushup. This move is performed similarly to the kneeling dolphin pushup, but instead of placing your knees on the ground, start up on your toes, pressing your butt up to the sky. Move your torso forward to return to the starting position. Again, this will not only your core, but it will also target your upper body, particularly the shoulders.</p> <p>Finally, you’ll be ready to perform the advanced variation of this movement: the alternating one-leg dolphin pushup. For this variation, do everything the same way you did with the regular dolphin pushup, but alternate lifting one leg at a time up towards the ceiling rather than staying on your toes as you press your butt up. This movement works on muscle symmetry while adding a balancing element that will really challenge your core.</p> <p>Now, let’s find out how to do the perfect kneeling dolphin pushup!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Start by getting on your hands and knees, then dropdown to prop yourself up on your elbows. Press your forearms into the ground, then shift your torso forward so your shoulders are all the way in front of your elbows.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-1"> </picture> <li>Squeeze your glutes and tuck your toes, making sure your toes stay on the ground throughout the exercise.</li> <li>Press your hands forward and start to move your torso backward until you’ve reached a tabletop position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-2"> </picture> <li>Lift your knees off the ground and press your butt as high as you can towards the ceiling, keeping your knees slightly bent.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-3"> </picture> <li>Bring your knees back to the ground, then press your torso all the way forward to return to the starting position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-4"> </picture> <li>Repeat the movement 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>You don’t want to have your forearms relaxed during the movement, so squeeze your elbows in as you press yourself up rather than letting them flare out. When you keep your elbows squeezed, you’ll prevent yourself from pushing up through the shoulders, which can cause damage to your rotator cuff.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-5.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-5.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-5.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-LR-5.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-5"> </picture> <li>Make sure to perform active reps of this exercise by pressing through your toes and squeezing your ab muscles as you move your butt towards the ceiling. It should feel almost like doing a knee raise, pulling your knees up towards your abs to really squeeze your core. If you’re performing the exercise passively, you’ll only be engaging your upper body which means you’ll miss out on a powerful ab workout.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-6.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-6.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-6.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-LR-6.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="kneeling-dolphin-push-ups-6"> </picture> <li>Inhale as you move forward and exhale as you push up. This keeps your focus on maintaining good form while pumping blood to the muscles.</li> <li>Keep your body tall and lengthened from your head through your glutes. Alignment is key!</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>The kneeling dolphin pushup is a unique variation on the classic pushup that will work your upper shoulders, pump your lower body, and zero in on your core. In order to get the maximum benefit out of this exercise, be sure to perform it exactly as we’ve outlined here. Place particular focus on squeezing your core hard and pushing through your toes as you press your butt up.</p> <p>If you’re struggling to do this exercise, start out with kneeling plank, performing a classic plank but with your knees and elbows planted on the floor.</p> <p>From there, try the regular dolphin pushup. Perform the same movement as the kneeling dolphin pushup, but begin up on your toes rather than placing your knees on the ground. This exercise really emphasizes your core as you’ll drop into a plank position at the beginning of each repetition.</p> <p>Once you’ve mastered the dolphin pushup, move on to the alternating one leg dolphin pushup by pressing one leg up in the air at a time as you reach the top of the dolphin pushup movement. Again, this added balancing element is works some of your accessory muscles while promoting symmetrical strength gains.</p> <p>You can do this exercise any place where you’ve got enough room to stretch your whole body out, so try performing a few sets the next time you have a lull in your day!</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, 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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