Downward Dog push up is a specialized workout move that strengthens your chest, arms, and shoulders. It opens up the backside of your body.
If you’ve always wanted to master Forearm Stand, this sequence will help make it happen. This exercise focuses on your triceps and your shoulders.
It is different from regular push up in that your butt will be sticking way up in the air. If regular push-ups have become mundane and boring got you, you should give Downward Dog push up a try.
HOW TO PERFORM DOWNWARD DOG PUSH UP
Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing downward dog push up;
- Start off lying in a prone position, that is, face down on a mat
- Position your hands and shoulder-width apart, and your shoulders above your wrists. Keep your feet forward and butt in the air.
- Keep your elbows tucked in, don’t flare them out. Tuck your toes under and straighten your legs.
- Engage your core, and take care not to let your back sag or your shoulders scrunch up toward your ears. By all means, keep your head and neck relaxed. This is what is referred to as the Plank Pose.
- Press your hips and butt back. Push away slightly with your arms as you engage your core. You’ll be in an upside down, V-shaped pose. This is now what we refer to as Downward Dog Pose.
WHAT MUSCLES DO DOWNWARD DOG PUSH UP WORK?
Downward Dog Push Up is an awesome upper body compound exercise that works your chest, back, shoulders, arms and even your core! It is also a great way to get a stretch for the entire backside of your body.
DOWNWARD DOG PUSH UP BENEFITS
STRETCHES THE LOWER PART OF THE BODY
Downward dog push up workout stretches the hamstrings, calves, and ankles fully
STRENGTHENS THE UPPER PART OF THE BODY
Downward dog push up is a weight-bearing exercise and it helps in building strong abdominal muscles and it also strengthens your shoulders and arms.
STIMULATES CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD
It allows gravity to improve the circulation of blood flow to all parts of your body.
It opens up the chest and shoulders, which can help straighten your vertebrae and align your spine, leading to overall improved fitness.
NO WEIGHTS REQUIRED
When transitioning from the Plank into Downward Dog, you have the additional weight of gravity to work against so this adds more challenge to the exercise without requiring you to have weights.
GET A FULL BODY WORKOUT
Plank works your upper body, abs, glutes, and legs while Downward Dog stretches your hamstrings and back.
Core exercises like this move have been shown to activate muscles better than isolated exercises. It also helps you learn about your inner workings of your own body where tightness and tension lie.
ALTERNATIVES TO DOWNWARD DOG PUSH UP
PLANK TO DOWNWARD DOG TOE TAPS
This works your core and boosts balance.
- Start this exercise in a plank position. Move into Downward-Facing Dog, such that your body is bent into a V with the butt in the air
- While in this position, bring your lift your right hand and reach back to touch your left toe.
- Return your right hand to its initial position on the floor.
- Do the same with the left hand. Return to the plank position
- Start with 5 reps per side. Repeat as many times as you desire
DOWNWARD DOG KNEE TO ELBOW PLANK
This alternative focuses mainly on the core and also improves balance.
- Begin this exercise with your body already bent in a V, a position you are now already familiar with as the downward dog.
- Lift your right leg into the air, coming into Downward Dog Split (or three-legged dog).
- Shift your right knee under your torso toward your right elbow.
- Extend the right leg back into Down Dog Split.
- Return the right foot back on the ground.
- Do the same for the opposite side. 5 reps are a good place to start, and you can repeat as many times as you wish.
If you want to make this move even more intense, twist your right knee across your torso toward your left elbow.
DOWNWARD DOG PUSH UP MISTAKES TO AVOID
TRYING TO FORCE YOUR HEELS TO THE GROUND
The biggest goal of this exercise is getting your heels to the ground. Instead of focusing on your heels, focus on lifting the hips up and back for a better stretch to avoid forcing your heels to the ground.
LOCKING OUT YOUR KNEES
Locking out your knees when doing this exercise relaxes your muscles thus it allows your body to avoid essential surrounding muscular activation which is not good.
KEEPING YOUR SHOULDERS UP NEAR YOUR EARS
Keeping your shoulders up near your ears makes your arms fatigue more quickly thus making your pose less stable.
This also causes the neck and shoulders to tighten which is the opposite of the desired outcome this downward dog push up is trying to produce.
If you want better arms and a more flexible body you should learn how to do a Downward Dog Push-Up.
It is an effective workout pose that can help relieve chronic pains caused by sitting and so on. This move isn’t just for gym members, so even if you don’t regularly step on the ground, you can reap the downward dog push up benefits.