Divebomber push-ups turn the classic push-up into a head-to-toe body challenge. Because it starts from the yoga pose, downward facing dog, the divebomber push-up trains your hamstring, back and shoulder flexibility, as well as strengthens your chest, triceps and core.
Before attempting a divebomber push-up, master a standard push-up to ensure you have the strength and stability to progress.
Master the Proper Form
The divebomber push-up diverges from the classic plank start position of the standard push-up.
HOW TO DO IT: Start in a downward facing dog position with your hands and feet planted in the mat and your buttocks pushed up toward the ceiling. You essentially form an upside down "v" shape with the mat.
Your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders and your back remains straight, rather than hunched. Keep your heels pressing toward the floor — they may not touch — to create a stretch in your hamstrings.
Lower your shoulders and bring your chest to brush the ground. Swoop through your arms as your chest arches up between your arms and you look up toward the ceiling. Pause for a count or two.
Reverse the movement. Lower your chest back down toward the ground and then your hips up toward the ceiling. At first, you might be able to do just a few divebomber push-ups with good form, but work up to a set of five to 10 total repetitions.
Before doing the divebomber push-up, warm your muscles and joints with preparatory exercises.
- Start by raising your heart rate and increasing circulation for 3 to 5 minutes. Walk briskly, march in place, pedal an indoor bike or elliptical machine or step up and down on a riser.
- Loosen up your hip and shoulder joints with arm circles and knee lifts for a about 60 seconds. Rotate your trunk side-to-side for 15 to 20 seconds to loosen up your spine.
- Do five to 10 sun salutations: Reach your arms up over head; bend forward to touch the floor, raise your hands to your shins to lengthen your spine. Plant your hands and step back into a triceps push-up, roll to the tops of your feet and lift your chest, hips and thighs and end in downward facing dog.
- Perform a set of 15 to 20 standard push-ups with a strong core.
You're then ready to take on the full divebomber push-up variation.
Add It to Your Workout
Include divebomber push-ups in a short, intense workout that features other total-body, functional-training moves to build overall strength, flexibility and power. These moves are different than classic strength-training exercises, such as the bench press and deadlifts, with which you might be familiar and challenge you in all new ways.
Use them to augment your existing strength routine or as a quick workout when you're short on time. Warm up as noted above before beginning. Plan to do this circuit, with the addition of divebomber push-ups, at least one time through, or repeat two to three times total.
- Hip Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet planted about hip distance apart. Lift your buttocks off the floor and hold for a second or two to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
- Squat Jumps: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your knees bent about one-third of a way into a full squat. Extend your knees and hips to explode upward as you reach for the ceiling. Land in the bent-knee position. Repeat eight to 10 times.
- Burpees: Start in a plank position, balanced on your hands and toes with your core rigid. Push upward and then jump your feet to your hands and explode up to reach your arms up and jump your feet off the floor. Plant your hands and jump back to a push-up. Repeat up to 20 times.
- Pull-Ups: Start in a dead hang from an elevated bar with your hands grasping using an overhand grip. With your hands about shoulder-distance apart, pull your chin up and over the bar and slowly release back to the dead hang. Repeat eight to 12 times.