The dive bomber push up is a multiple-muscle exercise that combines the movement patterns of the standard push up, downward dog and a high plank.
It resembles a popular yoga move called the “Vinyasa flow” that involves the upward-facing dog pose and the downward-facing dog pose.
If you have mastered the basic push-up, this variation should come easy for you.
Required equipment: Yoga mat (optional)
- Get on all fours, with your toes flexed and your hips over the knees.
- Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Rotate your shoulders outwards and engage the lats.
- Straighten both legs to lift your knees off the floor so that you are in a plank position.
- In the plank position, your legs should be hip-width apart.
- Push your hips upward until your entire body gets into a shape that resembles an inverted “V.”
- Then, push your ribs downward, tuck your pelvis slightly and bend your knees.
- Push your toes into the ground for more stability.
- With your legs straight, push your chest downward and bend your elbows.
- Continue lowering your upper body until your chest is almost touching the floor. Your hips too should be lowering towards the floor as your chest lowers.
- Then, just after your head passes your hands, straighten your elbows and push your body up into an upward-facing dog position.
- Push your head forward and straighten your arms without locking your elbows.
- Your legs should be straightened and fixed to the floor and you should be supporting your bodyweight with your hands and feet.
- Hold this position for 1-2 seconds when you get to the top.
- Reverse these steps to return to your starting position where your body assumes an inverted “V” shape.
- Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps each.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE DIVE BOMBER PUSH UP WORK?
The dive bomber push up works multiple muscles, both on your upper and lower body, but it specifically focuses on your pectoralis major, rectus abdominis, triceps brachii and anterior deltoid.
The pectoralis major is one of the two main muscles on your chest and it helps with flexing, adducting and internally rotating the humerus.
Your rectus abdominis flexes your spine when you do exercises that involve your core such as the dive bomber push up.
This exercise works your triceps brachii when you lower your body towards the floor then push it into the upward facing dog position.
Your anterior deltoid also gets a piece of the action when you rotate your shoulders outwards to help with the arm movements.
DIVE BOMBER PUSH UP BENEFITS
The dive bomber push up uses a range of motion that engages muscles in your entire body, from your triceps and biceps, through your core to the calf muscles on your legs.
REQUIRES NO EQUIPMENT
You do not need any equipment to perform this exercise, unless you prefer doing it on a soft surface (such as a yoga mat) for comfort.
STRETCHES YOUR MUSCLES
Aside from strengthening multiple muscles in your upper and lower body, the dive bomber push up also stretches your entire body.
This makes it ideal for a post-workout stretch exercise that will help you cool down after working your muscles intensely.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE DIVE BOMBER PUSH UP
DIAMOND PRESS UP
Like the dive bomber push up, this traditional press up variation requires minimal equipment to execute.
How to do it:
- Get on all fours then assume a plank position.
- Extend your arms and then position your hands under your shoulders.
- Bring your thumbs together and your index fingers together to form a diamond shape with your hands.
- Tighten your core and squeeze the glutes so that your body is straight from your head to your toes.
- Straighten your back, making sure your elbows are not flaring to the sides.
- Lower your chest, stopping just before it touches the floor and then push your body back up. This is a complete rep.
- Do as many reps as you desire.
This exercise works your pecs, deltoids and triceps.
When you are performing this movement, you should make sure your shoulders stay at the same level as your hips to avoid putting too much pressure on your lower back.
Squeezing your glutes and tightening your core will help with this.
HINDU PUSH UP
Also known as the “dand,” this push up variation is a full-body movement that can be traced back to Indian martial arts and traditional Indian wrestling.
- Start by getting on all fours then into the plank position.
- Press into the ground with your upper body, and then lift your hips up into the downward-facing dog position.
- Then, lower your hips into a push-up position once again as you squeeze your glutes.
- Continue pushing your hips downwards and push your chest forward into an upward-facing dog position.
- Push your body up to get back to the starting position. That’s a complete rep.
DIVE BOMBER PUSH UP MISTAKES TO AVOID
FLARING YOUR ELBOWS
To prevent shoulder injury, try to keep your elbows pointing backwards in the direction of your hips instead of flaring them out to the sides.
It might seem a lot easier to perform this exercise without lowering your body fully but if you want to get the most out of it, you have to go as close as you can to the ground.
Failing to lower your body fully might take away the benefits of the push-up portion of this exercise.
NOT ENGAGING YOUR CORE
As with almost every other exercise, it is important that you brace your core and keep it tight throughout this movement.
Not only will this help keep your spine straight and stable, but it will also ensure the other target muscles are sufficiently activated for better results.
Keeping a straight spine by bracing your core also minimizes the risk of back injury by reducing the amount of pressure on your lower back.
This yoga-push up hybrid stretches and strengthens both your upper and lower body at a go.
It’s not every day you come across a move that does these two at the same time, so you better hold on to this one and add it to your routine as soon as you can.
All the best!